- The type of truck used for self-driving service would be a medium-sized vehicle towing a 26-foot trailer
- The salary for a trucker would be up to $110,000 a year
Deploying self-driving service to Sam’s Club facilities
Starting in July, Gatik, a business providing driverless technology, will partner with a leading US paper producer, Georgia-Pacific, to deliver goods such as plates, cups, and toilet paper to 34 doors. Walmart’s warehouse store. Accordingly, the type of truck used will be a medium-sized vehicle towing a 26-foot trailer (Type 6), which is smaller than the Type 8 truck currently in charge of this transport. The trucks will operate on fixed routes around the clock, 7 days a week.
“We are starting out in the Dallas market but the focus will be on rolling it out nationwide,” said Gatik CEO Gautam Narang. He emphasized that the company’s goal will be to bring the new vehicle into the short-distance network, which is limited to trucks with 53 feet of trailers.
In addition, the partnership between Gatik and Georgia-Pacific, owned by Koch Industries, will help cut costs and complexity in the group’s supply chain. The trucks will be integrated into the shipping operations of KBX Logistics, another Koch subsidiary.
Solving the problem of driver scarcity
Paul Snider, president of KBX Logistics, said: “Self-driving trucks will save time when there is a serious shortage of truck drivers in the US. This will help reduce inventory at Sam’s Club stores.”
Gatik has been operating self-driving trucks for Walmart in Arkansas and Louisiana since 2019. At the same time, the business also launched a self-driving car service for Loblaw Cos., Canada’s largest grocery store in Ontario.
Although self-driving trucks cannot wholly replace Sam’s Club drivers, Walmart is sure to be watching closely as it pays more for truckers. The company said in April that it would raise starting pay to as much as $110,000 a year.