Gatik Partners with Isuzu to Develop and Commercialize Fully Autonomous Medium Duty Trucks
Today we’re excited to share that Gatik and Isuzu have entered into a long-term partnership to accelerate the commercialization of fully autonomous medium duty trucks for the Middle Mile. This strategic collaboration combines Gatik’s industry-leading experience in automating on-road transportation networks for B2B short-haul logistics with Isuzu’s award-winning N-Series platform and deep manufacturing expertise.
Laying the Groundwork for Success
Isuzu has been at the forefront of automotive evolution for over a century, with their N-Series trucks having been best-sellers in their class in the North American market for 35 consecutive years, making them an ideal fit for Gatik’s core commercial-grade autonomous technology solution.
The initial discussions between our teams began in 2019, and it was clear right away that we saw the future of autonomous delivery the same way: the Middle Mile market presents the greatest opportunity to safely and rapidly scale an autonomous delivery solution, while offering attractive, near term economic results. Isuzu is a company that has consistently demonstrated commitment to automotive innovation and serving their customers’ needs — core philosophies which resonated deeply with us, and which enabled the partnership to come together quickly and meaningfully.
Unlocking Autonomous Goods Movement at Scale
There is strong consensus in the industry that goods movement is a much more viable market than passenger transportation, with short-haul B2B applications commercializing and scaling faster than long-haul trucking. Our partnerships with customers like Walmart and Loblaw are long-term, multi-year deals in which we’re supporting a steadily increasing volume of autonomous deliveries. We’ll be announcing new customers and deploying in new markets this year, and it’s critical that we establish the framework and capacity to meet the opportunities and demands of this segment. Our industry-first partnership with Isuzu is the ideal solution, unlocking the potential for mass production in a safe and scalable way.
Designed for Fail-Safe Middle Mile B2B Automation
For commercial deployment of safe & reliable fully autonomous vehicles, it is important for the system to be self-aware of its failures and to ensure that the system is prepared at all times to handle such failures gracefully and safely. A key piece in building a safe system is to ensure redundancies for all key components across hardware & software. So far the testing on public roads has been with a trained safety driver as a backup, an approach which qualifies as redundant, but is only suitable for pre-commercial operations.
Our partnership with Isuzu is an industry-first effort to implement OEM-grade redundancies for medium duty trucks critical for fully autonomous deployments. During our development process using medium-duty Ford trucks, we’ve learned a lot about the needs for a fully autonomous truck. The Isuzu platform will have orthogonal actuation systems with redundancies for mission critical components like steering, braking, engine control, wiring harnesses, compute, electrical power along with crash-imminent braking that includes a backup perception system as an additional layer of safety.
This partnership enables us to work safely towards mass production of a solution to meet the unique demands of Middle Mile goods movement, and speaks to our joint commitment to the development of a safer and more efficient logistics community. The first of our vehicles will be deployed for customers later this year — we’re looking forward to sharing our progress in the coming months.