Gatik, in collaboration with Walmart Inc, is operating driverless trucks without a safety driver behind the wheel of its delivery route for Walmart in Bentonville, Arkansas, the company said on November 8, 2021.
These trucks move customer orders between a Walmart dark store and a Neighborhood Market in its fleet of multi-temperature autonomous box trucks.
Gatik’s deployment with Walmart in the state represents the first time that an independent trucking company has removed the safety driver from a commercial delivery route on the middle mile anywhere in the world.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Gatik to achieve this industry-first, driverless milestone in our home state of Arkansas and look forward to continuing to use this technology to serve Walmart customers with speed,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president of last-mile at Walmart U.S.
In December 2020, Gatik and Walmart received the Arkansas State Highway Commission’s first-ever approval to remove the safety driver from Gatik’s autonomous trucks after completing 18 months’ successful operations.
As part of its roadmap to operating fully driverless, Gatik undertook a comprehensive stakeholder engagement strategy involving state and local leadership and emergency services and will continue to hold ongoing informational workshops concerning its ground-breaking autonomous operations.
“Through our work with Gatik, we’ve identified that autonomous box trucks offer an efficient, safe and sustainable solution for transporting goods on repeatable routes between our stores,” said Tom Ward.
Since commencing commercial operations in 2019, Gatik has achieved a 100 percent safety record across multiple operational sites in North America (including Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Ontario).
Gatik focuses exclusively on fixed, repeatable delivery routes to maximize safety, using proprietary, commercial-grade autonomous technology purpose-built for B2B short-haul logistics.
By constraining the operational design domain, Gatik has been able to achieve the safe removal of the safety driver much more quickly compared to other applications, such as passenger transportation or
“This milestone signifies a revolutionary breakthrough for the autonomous trucking industry,” said Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder, Gatik.
“Our deployment in Bentonville is not a one-time demonstration. These are frequent, revenue-generating, daily runs that our trucks are completing safely in a range of conditions on public roads, demonstrating the commercial and technical advantages of fully driverless operations on the middle mile. We’re thrilled to enable Walmart’s customers to reap the benefits,” added Narang.
B2C delivery. The complex urban route in Bentonville involves safely navigating intersections, traffic lights and merging on dense urban roads.
Founded in 2017 by veterans of the autonomous technology industry Gatik, the leader in autonomous Middle Mile logistics, delivers goods safely and efficiently using its fleet of light and medium-duty trucks.
The company focuses on short-haul, B2B logistics for Fortune 500 retailers such as Walmart and Loblaw. Gatik’s Class 3-6 Autonomous Box Trucks are commercially deployed in multiple markets, including Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Ontario.
Gatik has raised a total of $114.5 million and is backed by Koch Disruptive Technologies, Innovation Endeavors, Wittington Ventures and others, and partnered with industry leaders including Ryder, Goodyear and Isuzu.