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Autonomous supply firm Gatik wins new pilot program with Pitney Bowes in Dallas

Gatik’s class 6 field truck is deployed for Pitney Bowes

Supply: Gatik

Logistics firm Pitney Bowes will start testing automated short-haul supply vehicles from startup Gatik beneath a brand new pilot program at Dallas-area distribution facilities, the businesses introduced Wednesday.

Pitney Bowes, which offers logistic providers for retailers together with eBay and American Eagle, will combine Gatik’s self-driving field vehicles beginning in 2023. The vehicles will complement 5 present routes within the Dallas-Fort Price space and can run packages between distribution facilities, so-called “middle-mile” supply. 

The partnership offers the worldwide logistics firm entry to a few of the first business autonomous supply vehicles available on the market and provides to Gatik’s rising footprint within the U.S. short-haul supply market.

Gatik, which was based in Silicon Valley in 2017, goals to automate shorter, business-to-business hauls with fastened, repeatable routes. It launched a partnership with Walmart in 2021, changing into the primary business supply firm to go utterly driverless.

Whereas some autonomous driving systems, such as Tesla’s, have faced heightened scrutiny, Gatik says it is navigated the troublesome surroundings by limiting its give attention to middle-mile routes.

“By constraining the autonomy drawback, we are able to get to the purpose the place the motive force comes out [of the safety driver role] quicker than anybody else within the business,” Gatik’s CEO, Gautam Narang, advised CNBC in an interview. “We selected the most secure potential routes and the best potential routes.”

Gatik’s routes don’t cross state traces, and they’re optimized with the assistance of regulators to keep away from colleges, hospitals and unprotected left turns. The vehicles used are additionally smaller than many the vehicles of its rivals.

The Pitney Bowes routes may have a security driver to begin, however the firm expects to have the vehicles utterly driverless inside a couple of months. 

At scale, Gatik estimates it might present as much as 30% price financial savings for Pitney Bowes. 

Pitney Bowes has begun a nationwide rollout of automation expertise in its warehouses, and pending the pilot program’s success, a broader rollout of Gatik’s automated supply routes might observe.

The startup raised $85 billion in its Sequence B funding final 12 months and says it may obtain profitability at a site-specific degree, so long as two absolutely driverless vehicles are working every route.

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