Refraction Al, robotics startup in Ann Arbor and creator of the REV-1, a lightweight autonomous delivery robot, announced mobility veteran Luke Schneider as the company’s new CEO.
Schneider will focus on progressing the company’s expansion plan and cementing Refraction AI as a solution to contactless delivery.
“As we scale up and continue to solidify the key role of delivery robots in people’s daily lives, Luke’s wealth of knowledge in the mobility space will be critical in our next phase of growth,” says Matthew Johnson-Roberson, co-founder and chief technology officer of the company. “His earnest enthusiasm for innovation and building a sustainable mobility model for cities aligns perfectly with our vision for the future, and we’re thrilled to have him on board.”
With experience in excess of 25 years at the intersection of transportation and technology, Schneider launched, led, and scaled various early-stage companies into this space; these companies include Silvercar (acquired by Audi in 2017), Zipcar, and Flexcar. His most recent role was COO at Wejo, an early-stage technology company that uses connected vehicle data and analytics to make roads safer, travel more efficient, and cities more sustainable.
Schneider’s career began with Ford Motor Co., where he served in various positions spanning product development, strategic planning, marketing, and production operations.
“Mobility technologies are making the world a better and safer place – they are the epicenter of a tectonic shift in the transportation industry, accelerated by a global pandemic,” Schneider says. “The AV industry is heading in a very exciting direction, and I look forward to leading Refraction AI through the next stage of evolution and growth.”
Schneider sits on the board of directors of Plug Power Inc. and Iteris Inc., and on the board of advisors of 3Degrees Group Inc., and AEye Inc. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in industrial administration (MBA) from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.
Contactless delivery has never been in higher demand, the company says. The beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 sparked a four-fold increase in delivery orders and started a fleet scale up, with an increasing number of REV-1 robots operating in Ann Arbor. The REV-1’s design enables automated delivery of prepared food, groceries, and similar payloads through a low-mass, low-speed vehicle. It can operate in both bike lanes and roadways. Refraction AI launched in July 2019.