Refraction AI hopes to help retailers like grocers enable better last-mile delivery service with its pint-size autonomous vehicles, which are small enough to fit on the side of the road, but fast enough to join traffic

In a dramatic reveal last week, secretive Michigan-based startup Refraction AI unveiled its maiden product: an autonomous delivery vehicle called REV-1. It seems like everyone and their mother is working on driverless vehicles these days, but Refraction is setting itself apart with pint-size robots that are small enough to fit in bike lanes and fast enough to take on traffic.

Refraction AI

REV-1 can fit up to four fully-loaded bags of groceries in its central compartment. Although the machine is larger than many of its counterparts, it's much smaller than autonomous cars or vans. This, Refraction insists, makes it a kind of Goldilocks product that is at home both in bike lanes and on the roads. Once the autonomous delivery arrives, customers enter a code to access their package.

Another key feature is REV-1's growing ability to tackle snow and cold temperatures, which are notoriously hard for AI to handle. Refraction is from Michigan, after all. The autonomous delivery vehicle is still being tested, but might also become available for restaurant delivery soon.

Refraction AI


Lead image: Refraction AI

In a dramatic reveal last week, secretive Michigan-based startup Refraction AI unveiled its maiden product: an autonomous delivery vehicle called REV-1. It seems like everyone and their mother is working on driverless vehicles these days, but Refraction is setting itself apart with pint-size robots that are small enough to fit in bike lanes and fast enough to take on traffic.

Refraction AI

REV-1 can fit up to four fully-loaded bags of groceries in its central compartment. Although the machine is larger than many of its counterparts, it's much smaller than autonomous cars or vans. This, Refraction insists, makes it a kind of Goldilocks product that is at home both in bike lanes and on the roads. Once the autonomous delivery arrives, customers enter a code to access their package.