Gatik fully removes the driver from its autonomous trucks

In News1 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineNovember 10, 2021

Autonomous vehicle company Gatik has announced it is now moving freight for Walmart in its box trucks with no one in the driver’s seat.

“This is not a one-off thing. This is not a demo. This is us doing commercial deliveries for Walmart,” said Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder of Gatik.

“Obviously the team is very excited. The plan is to expand this to different markets.”

According to the company, this is the first known use worldwide of an autonomous middle-mile truck running without a safety driver in the driver’s seat. The company began running full time without a driver in August.

Gatik has been running pilots of its technology with Walmart in Bentonville since 2019, but those trial runs included a safety driver behind the wheel. Now the program has progressed to the point where removing the driver was possible.

Narang said there is a person in the passenger seat with access to an emergency brake should it be necessary, and the vehicles are being monitored remotely at this time, but in terms of being a fully autonomous vehicle, the Gatik multitemperature box trucks are just that — autonomous.