Canadian supermarket giant Loblaws has announced a new multi-year partnership with Gatik to test a fleet of autonomous delivery trucks in Toronto.
Gatik, a bay area tech company with offices in Palo Alto and Toronto, will supple five Ford Transit 350 box trucks retrofitted with their autonomous self-driving technology.
The company claims the software is capable of driving in urban, suburban, and highway situations, and has already completed more than 30,000 revenue-generating autonomous deliveries for multiple customers across North America.
The trucks will operate on public roads along five different routes to deliver goods to Loblaw retail locations around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The tests will begin in January 2021, and run for 12 hours a day, seven days a week. For safety, all trucks will have a human co-pilot to take over control of the vehicle if necessary.
“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. 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,” said Lauren Steinberg, Senior Vice President, Loblaw Digital.
The new agreement follows the successful completion of a 10-month pilot program in Toronto with one autonomous delivery vehicle.