Gatik and Ryder teaming up on autonomous trucks

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by Emily Atkins

Ryder and Gatik are teaming up to make an autonomous trucks network in Canada and the United States.

Gatik’s latest funding round totaling US$85 million includes an investment from Ryder’s corporate venture capital fund RyderVentures, which aims to invest in and partner with early-stage companies that are developing new technologies and business models. The funding represents RyderVentures’ first investment in an autonomous trucking company.

Through the broader partnership, Gatik will lease from Ryder a fleet of medium-duty, multi-temperature box trucks designed for transporting goods to retail locations from micro-fulfillment centres or dark stores. Gatik will integrate its  autonomous driving technology into the leased fleet, enabling it to provide its autonomous delivery as a service (ADaaS) model customers.

In addition to providing the leased vehicles, Ryder will service and maintain the trucks, including calibration of autonomous vehicle sensors and the necessary pre- and post-trip inspections.

As the partnership unfolds, Ryder and Gatik will explore opportunities for Ryder to manage the logistics operations of the autonomous fleet as well, allowing Gatik to focus on its ADaaS business. Loblaw has been one of Gatik’s first customers in Canada.

“The combination of maintaining direct relationships with customers while being asset-light has never been achieved in the autonomous trucking industry before,” said Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder, Gatik.

“This partnership enables us to benefit from Ryder’s expertise in commercial vehicle servicing and maintenance, and leverage Ryder’s North American infrastructure to expand our fleet to multiple markets quickly. Ryder has consistently demonstrated commitment to innovation and serving their customers’ needs – core principles that resonated deeply with us.”

The goal of the partnership is to expand quickly across the U.S. and Canada, with the initial focus on the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“One of our focus areas, not only for RyderVentures but for Ryder as a company, is on autonomous trucking technology. It’s on track to solve a host of industry pain points. Think about ever-escalating consumer demands combined with capacity constraints, driver shortages, and regulatory and safety pressures,” says Karen Jones, chief marketing officer and head of new product development for Ryder.

“Gatik’s commitment to safety, focus on efficiency and affordability, and unique approach to structured autonomy make it a leader in autonomous middle-mile delivery—and a great partner for Ryder.”

Earlier this year Gatik received almost $1 million in funding from Ontario’s Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network’s (AVIN) R&D Partnership Fund to winterize its autonomous technology.