On a journey to build and adapt self-driving cars, both Gatik, a goods delivery silicon valley start-up, and Isuzu North America Corp. tied allies.
Interestingly, Gatik is a food delivery start-up currently working with Walmart in supplying goods to stores. The difference with Gatik, from other delivery services, is that they use autonomous trucks with a safety driver.
Though the car needs a driver to keep checking on the vehicle, it is still better than drivers slacking off, or taking a rest in between the journies. As warehouse transportation is generally among highways, transportation was a success for Gatik.
Along with Walmart, the start-up also works with Loblaw companies. Gautam Narang, the chief officer of Gatik shared a statement with the press. “What I can share is our revenue is in the millions. So this is not a free service that we offer.”
To which, he also added, “We actually worked with the Arkansas State Highway Commission to get the approval to take the driver out,”
Besides the autonomous feature, the reduced costs and delivery time attracted many investors. Gatik currently raised $30 Million from different investing companies.
Partnership with Ford
The start-up has been using Ford transit chassis, but there is no information on the actual owner of the trucks. Bill Ford venture capitalist, who is also Ford’s co-executive chairman was one of the early investors on Gatik.
Shaun Skinner is the one leading Isuzu’s branches in the US and Canada. Their partnership with Gatik would be by retrofitting the Gatik medium-duty trucks. For now, their work will be in the N series of Medium-duty trucks.
Isuzu North America Corp
Isuzu is a Japanese automotive company, mainly focused on fuel-based commercial cars. The company’s entry into America was back in the 1970s when they released a Chevrolet model along with General Motors.
Besides the American market, Isuzu is a global brand established in many countries like the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, and Malaysia. With every automotive industry focusing on electric vehicle innovations, Isuzu is a step forward by working on autonomous trucks.
Last month, Tokyo Isuzu established a partnership with Toyota to work on electric vehicles. Besides electric vehicles, they are also working on hydrogen-based vehicles and hybrid vehicles.
Though the Tokyo Isuzu And North America Isuzu are two independent entities, they are both working towards Electric vehicles and Autonomous vehicles. With Gatik partnership, Isuzu would be working on trucks as well.