What are APDDs?
Autonomous Personal Delivery Devices (APDDs) are wheeled machines designed to deliver products to customers. APDDs may be automated or remotely controlled. These machines are “intended to help businesses cut costs on deliveries, reduce delivery vehicle congestion, and cut greenhouse gas emissions from delivery vehicles” (MRSC Insight, September 2, 2021).
Why are we talking about APDDs?
The package delivery business has grown dramatically in the past several years as consumers shop online increasingly for products, groceries, and prepared food. While the pandemic increased the trend dramatically, the number of package delivery has been on the rise for several years, and the package delivery industry has been exploring alternatives and technologies for “last mile” delivery—the final segment of the journey that delivers the item to the customer.
One of the solutions that has been developed and either is in use or being tested in certain markets is APDDs.
In 2019, the Washington State Legislature passed HB 1325, enacted as Chapter 46.75 RCW, identifying minimum operating requirements for APDDs, which included operations in accordance with all ordinances, resolutions, rules, and regulations established by Cities where APDDs operate.
In late 2021, Kirkland's Planning and Building Department received four applications to locate dispensers containing APDDs that would use City streets and sidewalks to deliver goods to neighborhood residents. Staff’s review of the applications raised many questions, several areas of concern and identified the City lacked the code necessary to adequately review and condition APDDs and their dispensers in Kirkland.
A moratorium adopted by City Council allows staff time to study and address concerns over the technology such as:
- Identify basic facts about the technology
- Address concerns over safety and privacy
- Identify the public benefits
- Study other cities regulating this technology
Join the Conversation
City staff will be facilitating small group meetings to engage the community in deeper discussion around APDDs. Please sign up via the links below - please limit attendance to one meeting to allow space for others.
- Monday, April 18, 2022 @ 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. (register by 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 17)
- Tuesday, April 19, 2022 @ 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. (register by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 18)
Visit the Houghton Community Council, Planning Commission, Transportation Commission or City Council agenda pages to view meeting materials prepared in advance of the meeting dates listed below.
- June 23, 2022: Planning Commission
- July 5, 2022: City Council
Past Public Meetings