Nov 8, 2021

Walmart is using driverless trucks to complete a seven-mile delivery loop

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

As promised, Walmart has started doing fully driverless box truck deliveries in partnership with startup Gatik between its own locations on a fixed 7-mile loop, the companies announced. Despite those limitations, the route in Bentonville, Arkansas involves “intersections, traffic lights and merging on dense urban roads,” the companies said. It’s another shot of good news for the progress of self-driving vehicles after GM’s cruise launched its self-driving taxis into testing last week.

The Gatik trucks are bringing grocery orders from a Walmart fulfilment center (dark store) to a nearby Walmart Neighborhood Market grocery store in Bentonville, the host city of the company’s headquarters. The route covers the “middle mile” transportation of goods between warehouses and stores. The program effectively got launched following the December 2020 approval by the Arkansas State Highway Commission, and has been driverless since this summer.

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