Gatik—an autonomous middle-mile trucking company that already has a strong DFW presence—made that presence bigger today by announcing a new partnership with Kroger. Starting in May, Gatik’s self-driving 20-foot box trucks will begin rolling goods from Kroger’s Dallas distribution center to Kroger grocery stores in the Dallas area.
Initially, the self-driving trucks will be operated with a safety driver in the cab, Gatik said.
The Mountain View, California-based company already operates 25 self-driving trucks on Texas roads for companies including Pitney Bowes, and it’s partnered with Georgia-Pacific and KBX on deliveries to 34 Dallas-Fort Worth Sam’s Club locations. Gatik operates its DFW hub out of the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone in Fort Worth.
Multiple deliveries seven days a week
Under the Kroger collaboration, Gatik’s medium-duty autonomous box trucks will transport fresh products on delivery runs multiple times per day, seven days a week across Kroger’s Dallas distribution network. Gatik says the move promises “Increased speed and responsiveness when fulfilling e-commerce orders, reduced costs, and dedicated capacity across the supply chain’s middle mile.”
Each truck features a cold chain-capable 20-foot box designed to transport ambient, refrigerated, and frozen goods, the company says.
Gatik is ‘deeply familiar’ with the Dallas ecosystem
“Kroger’s commitment to redefining service levels for its customers through innovative technology meant that our collaboration came together very quickly,” Gatik co-founder and CEO Gautam Narang said in a statement. “We’re deeply familiar with operating our autonomous fleet within the Dallas ecosystem, and we’re very excited to bring that experience to support Kroger in its mission to reshape the future of goods delivery.”
Raúl Bujalil, VP of supply chain strategy and technology enablers at Kroger, said his company was excited to see the Gatik partnership in action.
“These autonomous box trucks will help us continue our commitment to creating a seamless shopping experience—where customers can access their favorite fresh foods, with zero compromise on value or convenience,” Bujalil said in the statement.
Dallas-Fort Worth is ‘a big focus’ for Gatik
“Texas and specifically Dallas-Fort Worth has been a big market, a big focus of ours over the last two, three years,” CEO Narang told Forbes, confirming that four Gatik trucks will be making the Kroger runs to three stores in DFW a minimum of four times a day, with each round trip averaging 60 miles.
Narang told Forbes that Gatik’s use of “chain to sensor” technology delivers “long range detection,” which enables it to operate its autonomous trucks at speeds up to 70 miles per hour, initially with a safety driver on board.
Since it launched commercial operations in 2019, Gatik says it’s delivered half a million customer orders, leveraging its commercial-grade autonomous technology to transport freight “safely and efficiently on the middle mile” for markets that include Arkansas and Ontario as well as Texas.
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