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Key project partners: Bedestrian
Description: Driverless Delivery, an autonomous lead robot and self-powered trailer that can deliver food, prescriptions and services such as telemedicine to people who are homebound. Units will be controlled by remote operators.
Award amount: $100,000
Current status: This project is complete. Bedestrian completed the build of their B1 and B2 autonomous delivery vehicles and the grant funding was fully expended. The vehicles were to be used to gather excess food from various buildings at the University of Michigan (U-M) and deliver it to community organizations feeding underserved communities. The project was to be tested at U-M but testing was suspended after the first day due to the university closure for the COVID-19 pandemic. Bedestrian, the city of Ann Arbor and U-M planned to continue to pursue deployment of this food distribution but the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the future of in-person university meal programs and cafeterias has created a significant barrier to planning regarding that specific use case. Bedestrian, through its relationship developed with Aramark at U-M during this pilot, is exploring alternative innovations, including use cases for contactless food delivery (e.g., mobile vending) at the university and other facilities served by Aramark.