Live from Future of Supply Chain
Any time I can learn about the technology that’s making trucking automated, I have to check it out.
Automation in trucking is coming, that’s an absolute fact. I hate it, but “the world stops for no man.” But Gatik is working in a different segment than the other artificial intelligence trucking companies. Gatik is focusing on the smaller capacity, Class B trucks – those that can operate without air brakes in the 26,000-pound or less gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).
Trucks in this category are great, in my humble opinion. They’re used for the smaller, local delivery ranges and quick-dispatch expedited workloads. Gatik’s demo video has a test truck being loaded at a distribution center and then heading to a local grocery store. A driver uses a keypad to unlock the liftgate controls and open the rollup door. The truck has the common setup of cameras on the bumpers and on top of the cab. Justin and I were told, for example, if a tree branch breaks a camera off, the other cameras would be able to compensate for the loss by having enough image overlap. Redundancies are an important part of Gatik’s program. How many times have we seen a new product come out and fail if a tiny part breaks, and then have to replace the whole thing?
Agile, mobile, versatile…
Gatik is rolling out a remote operator-styled system at first. The program is fully compliant with local, state and federal regulations. Due to the light weight and truck size, a regular Class C license is all you need to be an operator. It’s the size of a small moving truck, very nimble and able to take sharper turns and get into docks that a big rig can’t. As I said before, that’s great for inner-cities and some rural areas.
I can see some places I have worked that Gatik would benefit, like New Orleans for example, due to their weight limits and older infrastructure (low-hanging power lines). Gatik is definitely on my watch list to be a contender for market share in the autonomous vehicle category.