Business

Loblaw to give autonomous delivery vehicles test run in Toronto area

Loblaw Companies Ltd. has signed a partnership deal with technology company Gatik to test autonomous delivery vehicles in Toronto starting in January.

Grocery giant has signed partnership deal with tech company Gatik

The Loblaws flagship location on Carlton Street in Toronto is shown on Thursday, May 2, 2013. The company has announced a plan to test autonomous delivery vehicles with tech company Gatik. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Canadian Press)

Loblaw Companies Ltd. has signed a partnership deal with technology company Gatik to test autonomous delivery vehicles in Toronto starting in January.

Under the multi-year agreement, Gatik will transport goods from an automated picking facility to retail locations across the Greater Toronto Area.

The company will operate five vehicles for Loblaw up to seven days a week, 12 hours a day, on five routes with fixed pick-up and drop-off locations.

Gatik will outfit the trucks with refrigeration units, lift gates and its autonomous self-driving software for urban, suburban and highway driving.

All vehicles will have a safety driver as a co-pilot.

The agreement follows a 10-month on-road pilot in Toronto, with one autonomous delivery vehicle.

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