Self-driving car death could impact arrival of automated delivery robots in AZ

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It's the latest technology turning heads across the country.

Little automated robots that deliver food from your favorite restaurant are now cruising down sidewalks in California and Washington D.C.

And Arizona may be next on the map.

But Some Phoenix homeowners like Richard McClary aren't that excited.

"I'd be very concerned," said McClary. "I wouldn't want to have it in my neighborhood."

A woman in Tempe was recently run over and killed by a self-driving Uber car, raising new questions about automated vehicles and their safety.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Self-driving Uber hits, kills pedestrian]

State lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would allow the little robots on Arizona sidewalks.

The bill's sponsor, House Majority Whip Kelly Townsend (R-Mesa),  is having some second thoughts.

"Just like any state, we want to be cutting-edge and attractive to companies, but we also want to make sure that whoever comes here is operating safely from the beginning rather than after," said Townsend.

Some lawmakers think Townsend's bill may need more restrictions before delivery robots are up and running in Arizona.

Valley mom Kristina Taylor couldn't agree more.

"Maybe if they start off in a concentrated area, not somewhere as large as Phoenix or Tempe," said Taylor. "Once they work out the kinks, then maybe we'll feel safer, but I'm a little concerned about this."

There have not been any reports of any problems with the self-driving robots.

HB 2422 has already passed in the House and is awaiting further action in the Senate.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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