Postmates CEO will testify before Congress about the promise of robots and drones

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Disrupt SF 2017 is headed back to Pier 48

Postmates CEO Bastian Lehmann is testifying before Congress tomorrow in a hearing called “Disrupter Series: Delivering to Consumers.” In his written testimony, Lehmann makes a case for delivery via robots and drones, with the hopes that Congress will consider advancing a budget that “prioritizes improving STEM teaching and supportive active learning; Expanding access to rigorous STEM courses; addressing bias and expanding opportunities for underrepresented students in STEM.”

Back in January, Postmates, along with DoorDash, teamed up with Starship Technologies to test delivery via self-driving robots. But the emergence of deliveries via robots and drones has sparked regulatory concerns around safety, as well as fears around the displacement of human workers.

“While the current Administration and Congress also grapple with funding a budget for the country’s future, Postmates is proud to take a message directly to elected representatives — that investing in working training and STEM education is vital to addressing these complex challenges confronting the world today,” a Postmates spokesperson told TechCrunch.

The hearing tomorrow, led by the Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, is designed to explore how tech has changed delivery services, the potential benefits of the commercial use of drones for delivery purposes, regulatory challenges that exist around the deployment of new delivery services and how stakeholders have used new delivery tech to improve services, according to the memo.

Other witnesses include Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International President and CEO Brian Wynn, Flirtey Chief Evangelist Shyam Chidamber and Harry J. Holzer, an economist and public policy analyst at Georgetown University.

You can watch the hearing here tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. ET.

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