According to a news release, the multi-year collaboration will use autonomous refrigerated box trucks. The trucks will operate 18 hours a day and deliver Tyson, Jimmy Dean and Ballpark products to Tyson’s distribution and storage facilities in the Rogers and Springdale areas.
“We’re excited to partner with Tyson Foods to reduce cost and complexity within their regional distribution architecture,” Gatik CEO Gautam Narang said in a statement. “This is a significant moment for Gatik as we introduce Class 7 autonomous box trucks into our fleet. Our partnership with Tyson is poised to drive long-term innovation and supply chain resiliency while delivering tangible, near-term value.”
The program will introduce Gatik trucks equipped with commercial-grade autonomous technology to the Tyson supply chain, operating on predetermined short-haul, repeated routes to support fast and efficient product flow from plant to storage facilities.
The collaboration will include multiple trucks with the potential for future expansion at other Tyson locations.
The autonomous trucks are equipped with a 26-foot temperature-controlled box built to transport refrigerated and frozen goods quickly and safely, as well as with multiple sensor modalities designed for fail-safe short-haul operations. A safety driver initially will be present in the cab to monitor the autonomous system and take command of operating the truck if required.
The partnership is expected to provide Tyson Foods with increased asset utilization within its short-haul logistics network, to assist with inventory objectives and to support a transition to a more responsive, high-frequency approach to goods movement, according to the news release. Additionally, autonomous trucks operate with increased efficiency and sustainability, leading to reduced emissions and enhanced fuel economy.
“At Tyson Foods, we are innovating and using automation throughout our business, including in transportation,” Patrick Simmons, vice president of transportation for Tyson Foods, said in a statement. “This partnership allows us to strategically place our drivers where they are needed most while still reliably and safely transporting protein from the plant to distribution centers.” LL