Gatik and Loblaw announce first fully driverless deployment in Canada

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Autonomous middle-mile logistics company Gatik has launched fully driverless commercial operations in Canada with food and pharmacy retailer Loblaw. This marks the first time a safety driver has been removed from an autonomous delivery route in the country.

Gatik will now use its fleet of multi-temperature autonomous box trucks to deliver online grocery orders made through Loblaw’s PC Express service. Fully autonomous delivery will enable Loblaw to complete more frequent journeys over an increased number of routes, resulting in a safer and more sustainable supply chain.

Since January 2020, the duo has carried out over 150,000 autonomous deliveries with a safety driver on board, all while keeping a 100% safety record.

A third-party safety review lasting three months was commissioned by Loblaw, which resulted in Gatik’s autonomous technology and approach for safe and secure operations being endorsed on currently used routes. The review assessed end-to-end technology in addition to development and deployment processes, standards and regulatory compliance, risk assessment and evaluation of control measures as well as physical component, subsystem and vehicle level testing. As part of the assessment, degraded or incorrect sensor data, GPS jamming and spoofing, and incorrect acceleration with objects in front were sent to the autonomous delivery vehicle.

“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, Loblaw. “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,” added Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder, Gatik. “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.”

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKi Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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