Self-driving cars sound like a thing of the future and it very much will be beginning January 2021. Loblaw, in partnership with Gatik, will deploy a fleet of self-driving trucks in Toronto.
Gatik, the autonomous technology company that is working to deploy the new trucks, announced a multi-year partnership with Loblaw Companies Limited on Monday, according to a news release.
Starting next year, Gatik will work with Loblaw and provide a “safe, reliable, contactless delivery solution” for grocery items from its “automated picking facility to retail locations across the Greater Toronto Area.” This is a first in autonomous delivery fleets in Canada.
“Loblaw is one of Canada’s leading grocery retailers and we are proud to be selected to play a key role in enhancing the safety and efficiency of its already robust supply chain,” said Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder of Gatik.
“Retailers know the biggest inefficiencies in their logistics operations often exist in the middle-mile, typically between automated picking facilities and retail locations. This is where Gatik lives and succeeds, and is the reason we’re able to offer immediate value to our customers. We are delighted to partner with Loblaw in addressing this critical piece of their supply chain.”
After successful completion of a 10-month on-road pilot, Gatik will be operating five of its trucks up to seven days a week, 12 hours a day, and on five routes that operate on public roads.
According to the release, all of their vehicles will have a safety driver as a co-pilot.
“As more Canadians turn to online grocery shopping, we’ve looked at ways to make our supply chain more efficient. Middle-mile autonomous delivery is a great example,” said Loblaw Digital Senior Vice President Lauren Steinberg.
“With this initial roll-out in Toronto, we are able to move goods from our automated picking facility multiple times a day to keep pace with PC Express online grocery orders in stores around the city.”