An autonomous shuttle to deliver meals on the EPFL campus

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An autonomous shuttle to deliver meals on the EPFL campus


During about two months of experimentation, a small yellow car provided by La Poste will transport goods and food to employees of the Lausanne Federal Polytechnic School.

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Restrained at 6 km / h and chaperoned by a student from the Ecublens (VD) site, a small yellow vehicle made available by Swiss Post has been walking around the EPFL campus since Monday. Designed by the Chinese company Neolix, this autonomous and completely electric shuttle was designed for delivery.

For about two months, the device called “Adore”- for“ Autonomously Delivered Orders from Restaurants at EPFL ”- will be coordinated by Sustainability EPFL, in partnership with the Catering and Retail unit. This small car, which does not exceed 1.8 meters in height, is equipped on each side with 11 compartments locked by code that can contain the various goods to be transported between the Esplanade and the EPFL Innovation Park.

Pick up dirty dishes

In about two weeks, the vehicle will be used, in a second phase, to deliver meals to a selection of participants. The shuttle will pick up the food provided by the Takinoa restaurant at the Rolex Learning Center to serve, for example, the residential district of Estudiantines. Equipped with sensors, cameras and a touch screen, the machine is fitted with a satellite reception antenna allowing its precise position to be known in real time on the marked path.

Experienced customers will be able to choose a niche and delivery location. The shuttle will notify them of its arrival by SMS, and provide them with the access code to the compartment containing the desired meal. One meter wide and about three meters long, the yellow machine can also collect the washable dishes from the day before.


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© Alain Herzog/2020 EPFL
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The objective of a third experimental phase, which will begin in a month, is to extend the delivery of meals, and even merchandise, to the entire EPFL community. “The campus is a real living laboratory and this project allows us on the one hand to test different mobility and logistics solutions while promoting, with our partner, healthier and local food”, the project manager confides in a press release. at EPFL Sustainability, Luca Fontana.

Although automated shuttles have already crisscrossed the Lausanne campus in 2015, this pilot project had to get the green light again from the public authorities.

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