Autonomous middle-mile logistics provider Gatik has launched fully driverless commercial operations with Canada’s top food and pharmacy retailer, Loblaw Cos. Ltd. Gatik’s fleet of multi-temperature autonomous box trucks is now moving select online grocery orders for Loblaw’s PC Express service.
Since January 2020, Loblaw and Gatik have accomplished 150,000-plus autonomous deliveries with a safety driver on board, achieving a 100% safety record. The driverless truck deployment marks the first time that an autonomous trucking company has removed the safety driver from a daily delivery route in Canada. Autonomous delivery enables the grocer to take on more routes and make more frequent trips, establishing a supply chain that’s safer, more sustainable and more resilient.
“Working with Gatik, we’ve demonstrated that autonomous driving technology enables supply chain efficiency, moving more orders more frequently for our customers,” said David Markwell, chief technology and analytics officer at Loblaw Cos. Ltd. “Being the first in Canada with this technology and deploying a fully driverless solution is exciting and illustrates our commitment to making grocery shopping better for customers.”
“This milestone marks the expansion of Gatik’s autonomous delivery service to Loblaw’s customers across multiple sites,” said Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder of Mountain View, Calif.-based Gatik, which also has offices in Toronto. “Canada is the latest market in which we’ve launched our fully driverless service, further validating that the tangible benefits of autonomous delivery are being realized first in B2B short-haul logistics. It’s a privilege to achieve this commercial and technical landmark with Canada’s largest retailer.”
Gatik focuses exclusively on facilitating frequent point-to-point deliveries across the middle mile to maximize safety, using proprietary commercial-grade autonomous technology purpose built for B2B short-haul logistics. By constraining the operating environment in this way, the company has been able to safely achieve fully driverless operations in various markets. In 2021, for instance, Gatik became the first autonomous trucking company in the world to remove the safety driver from a commercial delivery route on the middle mile, transporting goods for Walmart in the state of Arkansas.
Loblaw Cos. Ltd. operates more than 2,400 corporate, franchised and associate-owned stores across Canada – including more than 1,050 grocery stores that span the value spectrum from discount to specialty – with 200,000-plus full- and part-time employees, making it one of the country’s largest private-sector employers. The Brampton, Ontario-based company is No. 11 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.