Walmart delivery business has grown dramatically since the pandemic as consumers have increasingly spent time at home, and last April. Walmart launched a service to bring orders to customers’ doorsteps within two hours. Drone delivery has been tested by Walmart also.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Gatik announced today that Gatik is operating daily without a safety driver behind the wheel on its delivery route for Walmart in Bentonville, Arkansas, moving customer orders between a Walmart dark store and a Neighborhood Market in its fleet of multi-temperature autonomous box trucks.
Gatik’s fully driverless operations, which began in August 2021, involve consistent, repeated delivery runs multiple times per day, seven days per week on public roads and unlock the full advantages of autonomous delivery for Walmart’s customers: increased speed and responsiveness when fulfilling e-commerce orders, increased asset utilization and enhanced safety for all road users.
“Through our work with Gatik, we’ve identified that autonomous box trucks offer an efficient, safe and sustainable solution for transporting goods on repeatable routes between our stores,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president of last mile at Walmart U.S. “We’re thrilled to be working with Gatik to achieve this industry-first, driverless milestone in our home state of Arkansas and look forward to continuing to use this technology to serve Walmart customers with speed.”
“Arkansas and Gatik have shifted into the future with Gatik’s self-driving delivery truck,” said Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. “It is fitting that Arkansas, which is home to the greatest retail companies in the world, is the launching pad for this innovation in retail delivery.”
“This milestone signifies a revolutionary breakthrough for the autonomous trucking industry,” said Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder, Gatik. “Our deployment in Bentonville is not a one-time demonstration. These are frequent, revenue-generating, daily runs that our trucks are completing safely in a range of conditions on public roads, demonstrating the commercial and technical advantages of fully driverless operations on the middle mile. We’re thrilled to enable Walmart’s customers to reap the benefits.”
As retailers turn increasingly to hub-and-spoke distribution models to meet consumer needs, the middle mile has emerged as a critical component of the supply chain. In the last decade, shorter, urban routes have become more prominent, with 65 percent of all routes under 500 miles and routes under 100 miles growing by 37 percent in the past decade. Gatik’s autonomous solution helps increase efficiencies and meet consumer needs by delivering on the promise of autonomy today.
Gatik, the leader in autonomous Middle Mile logistics, delivers goods safely and efficiently using its fleet of light and medium duty trucks. The company focuses on short-haul, B2B logistics for Fortune 500 retailers such as Walmart and Loblaw. Gatik’s Class 3-6 Autonomous Box Trucks are commercially deployed in multiple markets including Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Ontario. Gatik has raised a total of $114.5 million and is backed by Koch Disruptive Technologies, Innovation Endeavors, Wittington Ventures and others, and partnered with industry leaders including Ryder, Goodyear and Isuzu. Founded in 2017 by veterans of the autonomous technology industry, the company has offices in Mountain View and Toronto. Gatik was recognized on the 2021 Forbes AI 50 list and as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, approximately 220 million customers and members visit approximately 10,500 stores and clubs under 48 banners in 24 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2021 revenue of $559 billion, Walmart employs 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visitingcorporate.walmart.com, on Facebook atfacebook.com/walmartand on Twitter attwitter.com/walmart.