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July 26, 2019updated 23 Dec 2019 9:24am

Walmart and Gatik to pilot autonomous delivery service in Arkansas, US

Walmart has partnered with autonomous vehicle company Gatik to pilot its Grocery Pickup and Delivery service in Bentonville, Arkansas, US.

Walmart has partnered with autonomous vehicle company Gatik to pilot its grocery pick-up and delivery service in Bentonville, Arkansas, US.

This partnership is part of the company’s efforts to explore pilot projects with self-driving car companies covering customer delivery and transporting goods between its stores.

“We aim to learn more about the logistics of adding autonomous vehicles into our online grocery ecosystem, operation process changes and more opportunities to incorporate this emerging technology."

The pilot follows a new legislation passed in March this year by Arkansas government to allow autonomous vehicles to operate in the state.Walmart US digital operations senior vice president Tom Ward said: “With the help of Gatik, we’re making sure we stay on the cutting edge of grocery pick-up by testing an autonomous vehicle to move customer orders on a two-mile route in Bentonville between two of our stores.

“We aim to learn more about the logistics of adding autonomous vehicles into our online grocery ecosystem, operation process changes and more opportunities to incorporate this emerging technology.

“We’re always out to help our customers, and that means helping them save time and money. So, we’re using our position of strength to reinvent the shopping experience to take us, and busy families, well into the future.”

Last month, the American retail giant, in collaboration with Gatik, announced that it is testing driverless cars to transport goods, from warehouse to warehouse, in order to reduce shipping costs and increase efficiency.

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Walmart has selected a two-mile route between two of its stores in Bentonville, Arkansas, for the grocery pick-up pilot. The items will be transported by Gatik’s fleet of retrofitted Ford Transit vans.