Isuzu, Gatik to Mass-Produce Driverless Trucks

Isuzu’s entry into the autonomous middle mile arena will come in the form of what is known as a Low Cab Forward truck

Graham Hope

May 16, 2024

3 Min Read
A Gatik self-driving truck on a highway.

Autonomous driving company Gatik is teaming with Isuzu to accelerate the mass production of self-driving trucks.

Under the agreement, the Japanese commercial vehicle manufacturer will invest $30 million into the California-based firm.

Together the pair will work to establish a dedicated facility that will produce trucks capable of Level 4 autonomy, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

This means they will be able to drive themselves, with no human input, in specific geographic locations – operating on a driverless basis or to use the parlance of the industry: “Freight Only.”

Although the location of the new facility is yet to be determined, the plan is for operations to commence in 2027.

The companies have been working together since 2021, and according to Gatik, the new agreement will see them collaborate on the design and development of a truck with “robust and safety-critical redundant systems (including braking, steering and sensors, as well as software)”.


This, they claim, marks a significant step beyond other industry collaborations, which have seen existing trucks retrofitted with autonomous tech to deliver self-driving capability.

Gatik is currently the only company providing autonomous middle-mile logistics services in North America – essentially medium-distance logistics, connecting the likes of distribution centers and stores. 

Related:Walmart Testing Fully Autonomous Deliveries

It uses Class 3-7 trucks – light to medium duty vehicles – and currently has operations in Texas and Arkansas and Ontario, Canada.

Isuzu’s entry into this autonomous middle mile arena will come in the form of what is known as a Low Cab Forward (LCF) truck – one that has a low, easy-to-access cab. The company is already well established in this segment – with conventional, non-autonomous vehicles – in the North American market.

It is understood that the first autonomous LCFs to come off the new production line will be made available to Gatik’s fleet customers.

Gatik’s partners include Kroger who uses the vehicles on a delivery service run out of Dallas and Walmart in Arkansas. It also has deals with Pitney Bowes and Georgia Pacific.

The vehicles deployed feature Gatik’s autonomous technology, but currently, a safety driver is on board to intervene if required. Gatik says its current fleet numbers more than 60 trucks, which have completed more than 600,000 orders with a 100% safety record.

Gautam Narang, Gatik CEO and co-founder, hailed the new agreement with Isuzu, saying: “This partnership, coupled with Isuzu’s investment in Gatik, signals the company’s confidence in our technology and our world-class team, and we’re excited to bring autonomous transportation to the market at significant scale in the coming years.”

Related:Gatik Launches Kroger Autonomous Delivery Service

About the Author(s)

Graham Hope

Graham Hope has worked in automotive journalism in the U.K. for 26 years, including spells as editor of leading consumer news website and weekly Auto Express and respected buying guide CarBuyer.

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