Loblaws has announced that it has partnered with California-based Gatik to test autonomous delivery vehicles in the Greater Toronto Area.
Beginning January 2021, Gatik will provide Loblaws with a safe contactless delivery solution for transporting multi-temperature goods from its automated facility to retail locations across the GTA.
Gatik is going to operate five delivery vehicles for Loblaws up to seven days a week and 12 hours a day. The company will follow five routes with fixed pick-up and drop-off locations.
It will outfit the delivery vehicles with refrigeration units, lift gates, and its autonomous self-driving software for suburban and highway driving. It’s worth noting that all vehicles will have a safety driver as a co-pilot.
“With this initial roll-out in Toronto, we are able to move goods from our automated picking facility multiple times a day to keep pace with PC Express online grocery orders in stores around the city,” said Lauren Steinberg, the senior vice-president of Loblaws Digital, in a press release.
Loblaws notes that this deployment marks the first automated delivery fleet in Canada. Today’s announcement follows the completion of a 10-month pilot in Toronto with one autonomous delivery vehicle.