Autonomous box truck for B2B short-haul logistics revealed

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Gatik, a Palo Alto-based startup deploying autonomous vehicles for B2B short-haul logistics, has announced a new platform to serve the supply chain’s middle mile.

The self-driving fleet of multi-temperature box trucks ranges in size between 11-20ft long.

Gatik is reportedly the first company to develop autonomous box trucks capable of delivering ambient, cold and frozen goods.

It believes the solution can safely and reliably support retailers currently facing unprecedented challenges in the supply chain as a result of Covid-19.

“The supply chain is more critical than ever in times of crisis – and crisis also highlights already weak links,” said Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder of Gatik.

“Consumers’ needs and wants have changed dramatically, but the existing supply chain foundation is inelastic and doesn’t support growth or unexpected changes in demand.

“Gatik

enable customers to drastically optimise their hub-and-spoke operations and ensure essential supplies get where they’re needed.”

Vehicles equipped with Gatik’s proprietary autonomous driving technology move goods on fixed, repeatable routes between distribution centres and stores.

Autonomous delivery vehicles could reduce human-to-human transmission channels of Covid-19 and other communicable diseases, and help minimise disruption to the supply chain brought on by the pandemic

According to Gatik, this transport – also known as the middle mile – is the most expensive and challenging part of the supply chain for retailers.

“It’s also a hugely underserved segment of the AV market, with most innovation focusing on either moving people, or on sidewalk robots or long-haul trucking,” said Narang.

Gatik’s sensor suite means the vehicles are suitable for urban, suburban and highway driving.

The company has been operating its autonomous vehicles with multiple retail customers across North America including Walmart since July 2019.

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