Self-driving robots provide energy-efficient meal delivery to guests' front door
Austin, TX /PRNewswire/ - Refraction AI, a last-mile, autonomous robot delivery company, announced today it has deployed a fleet of its self-driving vehicles to provide energy-efficient meal deliveries at two Chick-fil-A restaurants located in downtown Austin, Texas. Refraction's innovative approach to last-mile delivery makes the cost, safety and sustainability benefits of self-driving technology available today by serving the rapidly growing demand for goods delivery across multiple categories.
Refraction's Robot-as-a-Service platform combines self-driving technology, tele-operations and a delivery robot that travels in the margin of the road or in a bike lane – avoiding the speed, distance and regulatory constraints of being on the sidewalk, without incurring the safety, technology and cost challenges of full-size autonomous vehicles. Using this approach Refraction is able to complete last-mile deliveries with 90% lower carbon emissions, 80% less energy consumption, at a fraction of the cost of conventional delivery.
"Autonomous delivery using Refraction's robots creates an exciting new opportunity to extend the Chick-fil-A experience to a growing number of delivery guests," said Luke Steigmeyer, Operator of Chick-fil-A 6th & Congress. "The platform will allow us to provide fast, high quality, and cost-effective meal delivery within a mile radius of our restaurant all while helping to keep the community we serve environmentally clean and safe."
Refraction AI develops and operates last-mile, autonomous robot delivery systems for restaurant, grocery and retail customers, including both robot-as-a-service and delivery-as-a-service business models. Looking for a way to realize the benefits of self-driving technology today, co-founders Matt Johnson-Roberson and Ram Vasudevan set their sights squarely on last-mile goods delivery. Joined by transportation entrepreneur and CEO Luke Schneider, and an experienced leadership team, Refraction has developed an offering designed to affordably meet the surging demand for delivery in the restaurant, grocery and retail categories, while raising the bar for safety, quality and performance.
"We are thrilled about working with Chick-fil-A, an organization that is admired and respected as much for its commitment to the communities it serves, as it is for the innovation and quality of its business," said Schneider. "We are kindred spirits partnering with Chick-fil-A restaurants to demonstrate a smart, sensible approach to delivery that continues a tradition of surprising and delighting guests."
Johnson-Roberson added, "Refraction AI was founded as a way to unlock the many benefits of affordable, sustainable delivery using autonomy technology that is available today. Scaling the last-mile – making it work for our communities, restaurants, grocers and retailers – is a key step in the journey to a safer, cleaner, brighter future."
After initial testing at Chick-fil-A 6th & Congress, Chick-fil-A and Refraction AI plan to continue exploring autonomous delivery in Austin at the Chick-fil-A restaurant on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard beginning in late June.
About Refraction AI
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Refraction AI is a last-mile delivery company that uses lightweight, high-utility, autonomous robots operating in road margins and bike lanes. With its proprietary self-driving technology, focus on efficiency and differentiated form-factor, Refraction AI serves the restaurant, grocery and retail categories with an offering that improves delivery performance, reduces carbon emissions by 90%, and reduces energy consumption by 80%, all at a fraction of the cost of conventional delivery. For further information about Refraction AI, please visit www.refraction.ai.
About Chick-fil-A, Inc.
Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, Inc. is a restaurant company known for the Original Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich and signature hospitality. Represented by more than 170,000 Team Members, Operators and Staff, Chick-fil-A® restaurants serve guests freshly prepared food at more than 2,700 restaurants in 47 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Canada. The family-owned and privately held restaurant company was founded in 1967 by S. Truett Cathy and is committed to serving the local communities in which its franchised restaurants operate.
Known for its leadership and growth opportunities, in 2022 Chick-fil-A was named a Best Employer in America by Forbes and a top company for career opportunities for Black employees by Glassdoor. The company was also awarded the Employee's Choice by Glassdoor honoring top CEOs and was named a Culture 500 Culture Champion in 2020. A leader in customer service, Chick-fil-A was named QSR magazine's Drive-Thru Restaurant of the Year in 2021. More information on Chick-fil-A is available at www.chick-fil-a.com and @ChickfilANews.