Canadian Tire is partnering with NuPort Robotics and the Ontario Government to test two autonomous delivery trucks in the Greater Toronto area.
The test project will see two Canadian Tire trucks outfitted with a sensor and control suite that will allow for the autonomous delivery of goods between a distribution center and nearby rail terminals.
“The trucks are currently transporting goods between a Canadian Tire distribution centre in the Greater Toronto Area and nearby rail terminals within a 20 kilometre radius, and early results are promising,” said Raghavender Sahdev, CEO of NuPort Robotics.
According to Sahdev, the features will allow Canadian Tire and other companies to be more efficient in their short haul runs made each day, otherwise known as the “middle mile.”
“The aim of the project is to develop a system that incorporates an autopilot feature for conventional trucks with a driver, leading to the most efficient way to drive and increase safety. The sensors work as a ‘safety cocoon’ to cover blind spots and prevent accidents and the end result is peak fuel efficiency, meaning lower carbon emissions, and peak driving performance for an overall more optimal transportation experience,” he said.
Even though the trucks will be outfitted with autonomous driving technology and obstacle and collision avoidance technology, the trucks will still have a driver behind the wheel for safety reasons.
The project will cost a total of $3 million, with the Ontario Government, Canadian Tire, and NuPort Robotics committing $1 million each.