Walmart's driverless delivery trucks take the next step towards full autonomy

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,743   +140
Staff member
What just happened? Walmart is one step closer to commercializing autonomous delivery at scale. The big box retailer has revealed that it now has a pair of Gatik delivery box trucks operating (almost entirely) autonomously between a Walmart dark store and a Neighborhood Market in Bentonville, Arkansas, Walmart’s hometown. According to Forbes, the trucks have been traversing the 7.1-mile fixed route since August.

Walmart said the operations involve consistent, repeated delivery runs multiple times per day, seven days a week on public roads. The deployment represents the first time that an autonomous trucking company has completely removed safety drivers from a commercial delivery route, although that’s somewhat of a technicality.

Gatik CEO and co-founder Gautum Narang told Forbes that there is still someone in the passenger seat with limited access to control the vehicle. Plus, there is a secondary “chase vehicle” that escorts the truck along its route. Clearly, this isn’t the fully autonomous portrait that was initially painted.

Still, it’s an important step along the path of eventually getting there. Tom Ward, SVP of last mile at Walmart US, said they’ve identified that autonomous box trucks offer an efficient, safe and sustainable solution for transporting goods on repeatable routes between stores.

Once the technology advances to the point where passengers and follow vehicles are no longer necessary, companies utilizing such solutions should truly start to realize the sustainability and financial benefits of such investments.

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Mjswooosh

Posts: 65   +84
Yes! Soon, all middle class jobs will be replaced by robots and/or shipped overseas & Murica can officially become a 3rd world country (it already is unofficially).
 

ScottSoapbox

Posts: 228   +397
Yes! Soon, all middle class jobs will be replaced by robots and/or shipped overseas & Murica can officially become a 3rd world country (it already is unofficially).
Yeah, it's terrible that new software developer and engineering jobs might replace truck driving jobs while making retail products and groceries cheaper.

It's a dystopian future indeed.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,003   +6,816
Yeah, it's terrible that new software developer and engineering jobs might replace truck driving jobs while making retail products and groceries cheaper.
And college tuition will go up to match. So, you'll be paying for all that schoolin' until you're about 75.(or so).

I've always said that all you supposed "intellectuals" without the support of those you deem, ;"under educated", would starve to death after the break machines went empty.. So. all those "uneducated louts" you condescend to, give you the luxury of sitting on your collective a**es, writing more useless video games

And BTW, heavily mechanized corporate farming has already replaced, for the most part, family farms. But when the combine blows an engine, are you planning on programming your way out of that?

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To me, it looks like would be time to call in that Spanish speaking gentleman, "Manuel Labor' "
 
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mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,955   +1,143
Yes! Soon, all middle class jobs will be replaced by robots and/or shipped overseas & Murica can officially become a 3rd world country (it already is unofficially).
I know. I, for one, long for the days of when operating a small, manual loom was the only skill one needed. We should have smashed more of the large mechanical ones when we had the chance. Oh, can't forget the pin setters at bowling alleys, typists, blacksmiths, bank tellers, and good old fashioned miners who had to get the ore out of the mine face using sledge hammers instead of drilling platforms and blasting.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,003   +6,816
I know. I, for one, long for the days of when operating a small, manual loom was the only skill one needed. We should have smashed more of the large mechanical ones when we had the chance. Oh, can't forget the pin setters at bowling alleys, typists, blacksmiths, bank tellers, and good old fashioned miners who had to get the ore out of the mine face using sledge hammers instead of drilling platforms and blasting.
Well, we don't really need those entry level positions anymore.. All today's "yoots", have to do, is drop out of school and start selling crack or heroin.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,955   +1,143
Well, we don't really need those entry level positions anymore.. All today's "yoots", have to do, is drop out of school and start selling crack or heroin.
Same can be said for short-haul truck driving. Don't need people for that role anymore - or, we soon won't.
Every time man uses one tool to improve another, he eliminates a profession - and creates another (and sometimes even more than one).