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Ryder, Gatik team up to roll out U.S. autonomous delivery network

By Reuters

<div> <p>By Nick Carey</p> <p> – Truck fleet operator Ryder System Inc and Gatik said on Tuesday they will build a national U.S. autonomous short-haul, “middle-mile” logistics network for Gatik, a Silicon Valley self-driving startup, to deliver goods to business customers.</p> <p>Ryder’s corporate venture capital arm RyderVentures has also invested in Gatik’s latest funding round of $85 million that was announced in August. </p> <p>Gatik works with Walmart Inc and Loblaw Companies Ltd to deliver goods to retail stores from warehouses using autonomous trucks with safety drivers – though in Arkansas is already running some driverless deliveries. </p> <p>As part of the partnership, Gatik will lease a fleet of medium-duty trucks from Ryder – initially around 20 vehicles in the Dallas area.</p> <p>Gatik will add its autonomous driving systems to those trucks, which will transport goods to retail locations from fulfillment centers or “dark stores” — distribution centers catering to e-commerce business. </p> <p>Ryder will also service and maintain Gatik’s leased trucks.</p> <p>“The significance and importance of this partnership is that it enables us to expand our footprint nationwide,” Gatik Chief Executive Officer Gautam Narang told Reuters. </p> <p>Miami-based Ryder has worked to build up self-driving expertise. </p> <p>Ryder manages and maintains a test fleet for Waymo Via, the self-driving truck unit of Google parent Alphabet Inc.</p> <p>Self-driving truck technology company TuSimple Holdings Inc is using Ryder’s maintenance sites as terminals to help it expand its U.S. autonomous freight network.</p> <p>And self-driving truck technology developer Embark Trucks Inc has teamed up with Ryder to launch a U.S. network of transfer points to support Embark’s coast-to-coast autonomous operations.</p> <p>Embark is merging with blank-check firm Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp. II.</p> <p>“We want to be a leader in understanding how this all works,” said Karen Jones, Ryder’s chief marketing officer. “Ultimately, getting in early with these customers is the best way to do that.” </p> <p/> </div>