Business

Walmart will test driverless vans in the US next year

Vehicles don’t have human drivers to take care of them.

3 min read

This article has been translated from our English edition.

Walmart will test driverless vans in the US next year
Walmart will test driverless vans in the US next year

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  • With the new pilot, Gatik’s autonomous trucks drive a 20-mile route between New Orleans and Metairie, Louisiana.
  • This milestone will make Gatik one of the first companies in this ecosystem to operate a fully autonomous route in this way.

In 2019 Walmart started working with a company called Gatik Testing autonomous delivery vans three kilometers between a fulfillment center and a store in Bentonville, Arkansas, USA. After these vehicles drove there more than 70,000 miles with a human driver to make sure nothing went wrong, Walmart and Gatik say they are ready for a new challenge. There won’t be any human drivers on the trucks next year.

This milestone will make Gatik one of the first companies in this ecosystem to operate a fully autonomous route in this way. As the Beginning itself quickly points out, has its simplistic approach to value performance. By keeping your autonomous vehicles on certain routes, you can limit the types of factors that can paralyze them with indecision. “It’s what we call structured autonomy,” said Gautam Narang, CEO of Gatik. “It is safe and efficient because it enables us to limit the challenge of autonomy, to optimize our delivery routes and to minimize extreme cases.”

In 2021, companies also plan to test a more ambitious route. With the new pilot, Gatik’s autonomous trucks drive a 20-mile route between New Orleans and Metairie, Louisiana. This is where they move items between a Walmart Supercenter and a place where users can pick up their orders online. First of all, they will be human drivers overseeing this test.

Walmart has been one of the most active players in the driverless delivery space. In addition to partnerships with Ford and Udelv, the retailer recently announced an upcoming trial of GM’s Cruise unit, in which autonomous electric vehicles will deliver products to people in Scottsdale, Arizona. Despite Gatik’s recent successes, widespread commercial use of autonomous delivery vehicles is still years away.

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