Autonomous Vehicles Now Delivering Food Using Bike Lanes

by Grace Jensen

The REV-1, an innovative electric autonomous vehicle designed to act more like a bicycle than a car, is already delivering for two Ann Arbor restaurants.

Designed and built by startup Refraction AI (founded by University of Michigan professors Matthew Johnson-Roberson and Ram Vasudevan), the REV-1 is different from other autonomous delivery vehicles because of its small size and slow speeds. At four feet tall, 32 inches wide, and about 80 pounds, the REV-1 can operate in both bike and car lanes, carrying 16 cubic feet of cargo, about four grocery bags, at a time. A maximum speed of 15 mph means it can come to a full stop in five feet, reducing safety concerns as well as the need for expensive sensors.

Currently, the estimated cost for each robot is around $5,000, but that price could lower as the design is finalized. Refraction is planning to start service to the general public in the coming months.

For more information, visit refraction.ai

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