Gatik lands backing from Japanese firm to expand autonomous trucks

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The Japanese global trading company Itochu today said it has invested in Gatik AI Inc., a California self-driving truck maker, and that the partners will accelerate the deployment of Gatik’s autonomous delivery network across North America, with a focus on business to business (B2B) middle-mile logistics.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the investment comes just weeks after Gatik said it had also landed $30 million from automaker Isuzu Motors Ltd. At the time, Isuzu and Gatik had said they planned to launch an autonomous commercial vehicle business in 2027.

According to Gatik, its approach will directly address the logistics sector’s mounting pressures, including surging e-commerce demands, critical driver shortages, and rising operational costs. It will do that by partnering with companies such as Ryder, Goodyear and Isuzu to meet the increasing expectations of end-consumers while alleviating the strain on traditional logistics infrastructure.

Gatik is also linked closely to Walmart, since the giant retailer launched a pilot project of its self-driving trucks in 2019, expanded that operation in 2020, and began commercial operations in 2021. Gatik’s Class 3-7 autonomous box trucks are commercially deployed today in multiple markets including Texas, Arkansas, and Ontario.

“Gatik’s cutting-edge autonomous technology aligns perfectly with our goal to expand our downstream presence in the US automotive market and revolutionize logistics services,” Atsushi Kuromi, General Manager of Itochu Corp., said in a release. “With their demonstrated safety record and methodical approach to scaling, we see immense potential in Gatik’s ability to further optimize middle mile delivery, address driver shortages, and ultimately create a more sustainable and efficient supply chain for the benefit of consumers. This strategic partnership not only strengthens our existing operations but also opens doors for innovative solutions across our global network.”




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