Outdoor Robot Policy
[Effective Date: Feb. 13, 2020; Last Updated: Feb. 13, 2020]
This policy applies to all Operators and all Outdoor Robots. This policy does not apply to the operation of robots inside buildings on University Property. Operation of robots inside buildings is subject to all other University and building policies, codes and operating procedures.
- Approver: The Provost or the Provost’s designee.
- Committee: An ad hoc group appointed by the Approver with responsibility for reviewing requests to operate Outdoor Robots. The Committee will include representatives from the Department of Public Safety, Stanford Transportation, Risk Management, Business Affairs, the Office of the Provost and other University offices and departments deemed appropriate by the Approver, including, the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Office of the General Counsel, University Communications, the Office of Government Affairs and Community Relations, and Stanford Medicine Facilities if the proposed use will be on Stanford Medicine Property.
- Operators: Individuals or organizations that operate Outdoor Robots.
- Outdoor Robots: Robots which operate outside of buildings located on University Property.
- Robots: Autonomously operated devices/vehicles that are not actively guided or controlled by a human sitting in or standing on the device/vehicle while controlling its movement. Robots do not include drones, aerial devices, or toys if the toy presents no safety or privacy risks when operated on University Property. (See Section 7.10 of the Research Policy Handbook for the University drone policy.)
- Stanford Medicine Property: Any University Property subject to a ground lease with Stanford Health Care (“SHC”) or Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford (“LPCH”) and any University Property located within .25 miles of that leased property.
- University Property: All property owned by Stanford University, excluding property subject to commercial long-term leases with third parties that are unaffiliated with the University, such as Stanford Shopping Center, Rosewood Sand Hill, and property occupied by Stanford Research Park tenants. In particular, University Property includes (i) all property on the University’s main campus bounded by Junipero Serra Blvd., El Camino Real, Sand Hill Road and Stanford Ave, (ii) Stanford Medicine Property, (iii) residential neighborhoods reserved exclusively for home ownership by Stanford faculty and staff and (iv) property on which apartment and condominium buildings owned by the University are located.
The University recognizes that use of Outdoor Robots may facilitate delivery of goods and services on University Property; however, these vehicles present unique challenges to safety and privacy within the Stanford community. For this reason, no Outdoor Robots may operate on University Property without the prior written permission of the Approver. In addition, if an Outdoor Robot is to operate on Stanford Medicine Property, such use will require the prior written permission of the Vice President of Facilities, Services and Planning at SHC and the Vice President for Strategic Space Planning and General Services at LPCH, as appropriate (individually or together “Sanford Medicine Facilities”). This policy applies to operation of Outdoor Robots on roads, bike paths, sidewalks and all other outside areas.
Permission to operate an Outdoor Robot may be granted if the Approver (and Stanford Medicine Facilities if Outdoor Robot operation will operate on Stanford Medicine Property) determines that operation of the Outdoor Robot (i) is consistent with the University’s mission, (ii) does not violate any federal or state laws or regulations, (iii) is safe, (iv) does not compromise the privacy of individuals, and (v) does not interfere with education, research or other activities taking place on University Property.
Outdoor Robots and Operators must comply with all other University rules and policies if granted permission to operate on University Property, as well as all Stanford Medicine rules and policies if granted permission to operate on Stanford Medicine Property.
Operators must have insurance coverage by a financially solvent insurer with A.M. Best rating of A or better, or its equivalent, as follows: (i) commercial general liability insurance for minimum limits of $2,000,000 per occurrence; (ii) automobile liability insurance for minimum limits of $1,000,000 per accident; and (iii) workers’ compensation insurance for statutory California limits combined with employer’s liability insurance for minimum limits of $1,000,000 per accident or disease. A certificate of insurance evidencing required insurance coverage must be included in the submission request. Before final permission is granted to operate an Outdoor Robot, The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, its trustees, officers, agents, representatives, students, employees, faculty and volunteers, must be included as additional insureds by endorsement to the Operator’s commercial general liability and automobile liability insurance policies.
Either the Operator or the University department sponsoring operation of the Outdoor Robot on University Property must submit a written request to operate an Outdoor Robot to Stanford Transportation. This request must include the information below, as well as a certificate of insurance evidencing the required insurance coverage emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Operator’s name and a description of the Operator’s business (if any).
- The reason why the Operator wants to operate an Outdoor Robot on Stanford Property, including any revenue being generated for the Operator or anyone else by operation of the Outdoor Robot.
- Where the Outdoor Robot will travel on Stanford Property, including where it will be stored when not in operation.
- The operating schedule for the Outdoor Robot.
- The ways in which operation of the Outdoor Robot furthers Stanford’s education, research or health care missions, and any other benefits to Stanford of allowing the Outdoor Robot to operate on Stanford Property.
- Identification of all risks that operation of the Outdoor Robot poses to the University, the University community and/or the general public, including identification of any past collision, fire, food safety or other incidents. Submissions should include mitigations incorporated into the design and operation of the Outdoor Robot to guard against these risks.
- In addition to submission of a certificate of insurance evidencing required insurance coverage, Operator should indicate willingness to add Stanford as an additional insured party under its policies, and willingness to indemnify Stanford against any claims or harm that arises out of operation of the robots.
- Any safety precautions being taken by the Operator to minimize the risk to the University, the University community and/or the general public, including to bikers, pedestrians, skateboarders and individuals with physical limitations.
- Other relevant information, including at a minimum: the Outdoor Robot’s operating system, the network to be used to operate the Outdoor Robot, any information to be collected by the Outdoor Robot, how the information collected will be used, how and where the information will be stored, and who has access to the information.
- Description of potential privacy risks posed by operation of the Outdoor Robot and how they are being mitigated.
- Identification of any pending legal claims, lawsuits, and/or enforcement actions from government regulatory bodies against the Operator.
- Identification of any laws and regulations that apply to the operation of the Outdoor Robot other than those that apply to all businesses operating on Stanford Property.
6. Evaluation of a Request to Operate Outdoor Robots
Requests to operate Outdoor Robots submitted to Stanford Transportation will be considered first by Stanford Department of Public Safety and Stanford Transportation to identify any initial safety concerns. This evaluation will include a walk-through of the proposed travel routes by Stanford Department of Public Safety, Stanford Transportation, and any other parties (such as Risk Management, Stanford Medicine Facilities if the Outdoor Robot will operate on Stanford Medicine Property, and the sponsoring Stanford department, if any) deemed appropriate to determine if there are any safety issues or concerns. If either Stanford Department of Public Safety or Stanford Transportation determine that there are there are any safety concerns that cannot be easily mitigated, the request will be denied by Stanford Transportation. This decision will be final.
If there are no safety concerns, then Stanford Transportation will convene the Committee, which will evaluate the request and make a recommendation to the Approver. This recommendation will identify a University department to oversee the Outdoor Robot operations if there is no University sponsor.
The Approver will make the final decision; provided however, that no permission to operate an Outdoor Robot on Stanford Medicine Property will be granted without approval by Stanford Medicine Facilities.
The University reserves the right to rescind approval for an Outdoor Robot to operate on University Property at any time and for any reason, including concerns that operation of an Outdoor Robot compromises safety, interferes with University activities, or impacts privacy on University Property.
All complaints regarding the operation of an Outdoor Robot should be directed to Stanford Transportation. Stanford Transportation will work with Stanford Department of Public Safety, other relevant law enforcement agencies, and the Office of the General Counsel on the appropriate actions to take with respect Operators who do not have permission to operate Outdoor Robots. If the complaint relates to an Outdoor Robot operating with permission, Stanford Transportation will investigate the complaint and use the process established in Section 5, above, to consider the advisability of continuing to allow the Outdoor Robot to operate on University Property.
Questions regarding this policy may be directed to Stanford Transportation at email@example.com.