SPRINGDALE, Ark. — If you live in northwest Arkansas and see a Tyson delivery truck driving by itself, don’t panic.
The trucks are part of the food processing giant’s partnership with autonomous trucking company Gatic AI.
According to a news release, Tyson and Gatik have entered into a multi-year collaboration to use autonomous refrigerated box trucks for delivery routes in northwest Arkansas.
The trucks will operate 18 hours a day delivering Tyson, Jimmy Dean and BallPark products, among others, to the company’s distribution and storage facilities in the Rogers and Springdale, Arkansas, areas.
“The deployment will introduce Gatik trucks equipped with commercial-grade autonomous technology to the Tyson supply chain, operating on predetermined short-haul, repeated routes to support fast and efficient product flow from plant to storage facilities,” the news release stated.
The collaboration, which begins the week, will include multiple trucks with the potential for future expansion at other Tyson locations.
The autonomous trucks are equipped with a 26-foot, temperature-controlled box purpose-built to transport refrigerated and frozen goods quickly and safely and multiple sensor modalities that are custom-designed for fail-safe short-haul B2B operations.
A safety driver will initially be present in the cab to monitor the autonomous system and take command of operating the truck — if required, the news release stated.
“At Tyson Foods, we are innovating and using automation throughout our business, including in transportation,” said Patrick Simmons, vice president of transportation for Tyson Foods. “This partnership allows us to strategically place our drivers where they are needed most while still reliably and safely transporting protein from the plant to distribution centers.”
According to Tyson executives, the partnership is expected to provide Tyson Foods with increased asset utilization within its short-haul logistics network, assist with inventory objectives and support a transition to a more responsive, high-frequency approach to goods movement.
Additionally, autonomous trucks operate with increased efficiency and sustainability, leading to reduced emissions and enhanced fuel economy.
“We’re excited to partner with Tyson Foods to reduce cost and complexity within their regional distribution architecture,” said Gatik CEO and co-founder Gautam Narang. “This is a significant moment for Gatik as we introduce Class 7 autonomous box trucks into our fleet. Our partnership with Tyson is poised to drive long-term innovation and supply chain resiliency while delivering tangible, near-term value.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.