While automakers and technology companies have invested billions of dollars in self-driving vehicles, they aren't the only partners. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Gatik today announced a multi-year collaboration to develop mobility offerings for the autonomous business-to-business, short-haul logistics industry. The companies said they intend to contribute to safer, more sustainable goods movement while reducing costs for Gatik’s customers nationwide.
“The benefits of Goodyear’s tire intelligence technology are grounded in enhancing safety, increasing efficiency, and reducing costs – principles which are absolutely fundamental to Gatik’s mission and success,” stated Arjun Narang, co-founder and chief technology officer of Gatik.
Founded in 2017, Gatik claimed that it established the first autonomous middle-mile logistics network in North America. The startup, which has offices in Palo Alto, Calif., and Toronto, is expanding its fleet of Class 3-6 box trucks in markets including Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Ontario. Its customers include Fortune 500 retailers such as Walmart and Loblaw.
Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies, with over 120 years’ experience. It employs about 72,000 people and manufactures products in 55 facilities in 23 countries around the world. The company has innovation centers in Akron, Ohio, and Colmar-Berg, Luxemburg. Goodyear's collaboration with Gatik expands service levels and capacity for both organizations across the U.S.
Goodyear pumps up Gatik smart trucks
The tire maker's venture capital fund, Goodyear Ventures, participated in Gatik’s recently announced $85 million in Series B funding. The companies said they plan to cooperate on multiple projects.
Gatik said its medium-duty fleet will use tires equipped with tire intelligence technology powered by Goodyear SightLine. This will build upon Goodyear’s existing connected tire management products in an effort to improve stopping distances in autonomous commercial vehicles and monitor tire pressure in real time for enhanced safety and reduced wear.
As Gatik commercializes its operations at scale, Goodyear SightLine could help reduce fuel and maintenance costs while increasing operational efficiencies for retailers, e-commerce companies, and distributors using autonomous trucks.
“By leveraging our advanced tire intelligence solutions, Goodyear can help improve vehicle performance and safety in autonomous transportation,” said Chris Helsel, Goodyear’s senior vice president for global operations and chief technology officer. “Together, Goodyear and Gatik will combine our innovative technologies to help bring more efficiency in the increasingly important middle-mile segment.”
“Gatik’s mission to deliver goods safely and efficiently using autonomous vehicles aligns with our investment strategy, making them a great addition to our portfolio, which already includes key autonomous delivery players in the long-haul and last-mile delivery markets,” said Abhijit Ganguly, managing director of Goodyear Ventures. “We believe this investment is a strong strategic fit for Goodyear as we seek to learn more about the implications of autonomous technologies in middle-mile delivery and logistics.”
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