Loblaws Trials Driverless Grocery Trucks
Loblaws (L) is partnering with an American autonomous vehicle company to trial self-driving
grocery delivery trucks.
The move is part of an ongoing pilot program that Loblaws began in 2020 in which driverless
trucks operated by Silicon Valley-based Gatik shuttled items between Loblaws distribution
centres and retail locations in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
During the pandemic, 150,000 driverless trips between Loblaws locations were successfully
completed. Now, Loblaws has received permission from the Government of Ontario to expand
and use the driverless trucks elsewhere in the province.
However, each self-driving delivery truck includes a human safety driver who sits in the
passenger seat and can intervene if needed.
The driverless Loblaws trucks are white in colour with a purple stripe and the words“Groceries
on the go” emblazoned on the side.
Loblaws has said that the driverless trucks remain in a pilot program phase and it is not clear
what the company's ultimate plans are for the self-driving vehicles.
Privately held Gatik is operating similar self-driving vehicle partnerships with other companies in
Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana within the U.S.
Loblaws stock is up 9% this year and trading at $111.52 per share.
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