First-ever autonomous box truck fleet to move the middle mile
Contactless solution for transporting multi-temperature goods from distribution centers to retail locations
Gatik, a Palo Alto-based startup deploying autonomous vehicles for business to business (B2B) short-haul logistics, announced a new platform to serve the supply chain’s middle mile: the autonomous box truck. Their self-driving fleet of multi-temperature box trucks ranges in size between 11 and 20 feet long. This makes Gatik the first company to develop autonomous box trucks capable of delivering ambient, cold and frozen goods.
Retailers today face unprecedented challenges in the supply chain, and autonomous delivery vehicles address two of the essentials: safety and reliability. Autonomous delivery vehicles reduce human-to-human transmission channels of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases, and help minimize disruption to the supply chain brought on by the pandemic. With essentials in short supply on shelves across America, Gatik’s middle mile solution is versatile, sustainable, and most importantly safe and reliable.
“The existing supply chain foundation is inelastic and doesn’t support growth or unexpected changes in demand” said Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder of Gatik.
The supply-chain’s troublesome middle mile
Vehicles equipped with Gatik’s proprietary autonomous driving technology move goods on fixed, repeatable routes between distribution centers and stores. This transport, 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.
The company worked closely with its retail customers to design the right form factor to address today’s rapidly shifting market and help them automate their on-road logistics. Along with being perfectly built for urban, suburban and highway driving, Gatik’s sensor suite offers unparalleled safety.
Gatik has been successfully operating its autonomous vehicles with multiple retail customers across North America including Walmart since July 2019.
“The logistics space has been struggling to keep up with today’s consumer demand, rising costs and driver shortages. With COVID-19, we know that these struggles are even more pronounced. Gatik’s box truck solution offers customers both a service and a philosophy – we’re optimizing hub and spoke supply chain operations, dramatically reducing costs and achieving a shared ethical responsibility to enhance public health and improve road and environmental safety,” continued Narang.