Canadian food retailer Loblaw has entered into a multi-year partnership with Gatik for the deployment of autonomous delivery vehicles fleet.

The retailer will use the autonomous delivery vehicles fleet to transport multi-temperature goods from its automated picking facility to retail locations across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

The deployment, which will start from January, will be first in Canada. It comes after Gatik completed a ten-month on-road pilot in Toronto.

Loblaw Digital senior vice president Lauren Steinberg said: “As more Canadians turn to online grocery shopping, we’ve looked at ways to make our supply chain more efficient. Middle-mile autonomous delivery is a great example.

“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.”

Gatik upgrades Ford Transit 350 box trucks with refrigeration units, lift gates to meet the requirement of Loblaw.

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Additionally, the vehicle is complete with Gatik’s patented autonomous self-driving software.

The company will be operating five vehicles for Loblaw and all of them will have a safety driver as a co-pilot.

Gatik CEO and co-founder Gautam Narang added: “Loblaw is one of Canada’s leading grocery retailers and we are proud to be selected to play a key role in enhancing the safety and efficiency of its already robust supply chain. We are delighted to partner with Loblaw in addressing this critical piece of their supply chain.”