PlanetM, the State of Michigan's mobility initiative, said Tuesday it was awarding more than $280,000 in grants to five companies to tackle mobility difficulties in the state caused by the coronavirus crisis.
The companies will receive the grants in increments based on their ability to reach milestones preestablished with PlanetM.
GHSP, in Grand Haven, Mich., will receive $80,000 to develop its mobile UV-C treatment that harnesses UV-C light in various doses to disinfect the air and high-touch surfaces in shared vehicles after occupants exit.
Gatik, in Palo Alto, Calif., will receive $100,000 to provide contactless delivery via autonomous vehicles traveling assigned routes in Grand Rapids and Rochester, Mich.
Penske Vehicle Services, of Troy, Mich., a unit of Penske Corp., will get $28,000 to produce portable vinyl partitions separating front and back seat occupants, though not blocking them off completely.
RCO Engineering, in Roseville, Mich., will receive the same amount to similarly produce temporary partitions to be used in vehicles provided by the City of Detroit.
Pratt Miller, a New Hudson, Mich., firm, will receive $50,000 for its Large area autonomous Disinfecting robotic vehicle, or LaaD. The electric robot uses "a multi-head electrostatic sprayer array," PlanetM said, to distribute disinfectants into the air and onto surfaces. It uses sensors and data analysis to monitor and maximize its coverage. LaaD will be tested at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids.
The Detroit News reported on the grants Tuesday.