Since 2019, Walmart has partnered with driverless truck maker Gatik to ship goods between a dark store and a Neighborhood Market using autonomous vehicles in autonomous mode – but always with a safety driver behind the wheel. Starting in 2021, those trucks will complete the same task along the same route – but without a safety driver.
Walmart has invested heavily in the latest delivery technology, including autonomous vehicles and drones. The Gatik pilot is a big step forward in the ongoing "delivery wars" between major retailers like Walmart and Amazon.
"This achievement marks a new milestone that signifies the first ever driverless operation carried out on the supply chain middle mile for both Gatik and Walmart," Tom Ward, Walmart senior vice president of customer product, said in a statement.