Walmart to Use Driverless Trucks With No Safety Backup in 2021

Mish

Walmart has been quietly working on driverless trucks. Implementation is at hand.

Walmart Goes Driverless in 2021

Please note Walmart to Utilize Fully Driverless Trucks in 2021.

Walmart will use fully autonomous box trucks to make deliveries in Arkansas starting in 2021. The big-box retailer has been working with a startup called Gatik on a delivery pilot for 18 months. Next year, the two companies plan on taking their partnership to the next level by removing the safety driver from their autonomous box trucks.

Next year, the companies intend to start incorporating fully autonomous trucks into those deliveries. And they plan on expanding to a second location in Louisiana, where trucks with safety drivers will begin delivering items from a “live” Walmart Supercenter to a designated pickup location where customers can retrieve their orders. Those routes, which will begin next year, will be longer than the Arkansas operation — 20-miles between New Orleans and Metairie, Louisiana.

Walmart is working with a variety of self-driving companies in its search for the best fit for the company’s massive retail and delivery operations. In addition to Gatik, the big-box company is working with Waymo, Cruise, Nuro, Udelv, Baidu, Ford, and Postmates.

Just a Start to What's Coming

Clearly this is just a start, but it's also just a start to 2021. 

Driverless trucks are coming. The only big missing piece is legislation. 

Will Biden hold up legislation? It's possible, but the future won't wait long. 

Cars will lag trucks by a number of years. 

Mish

Comments (28)
No. 1-10
Sechel
Sechel

to operate a two-mile route between a distribution center and a Walmart store in Bentonville, Ark. --just a guess but doubt there are traffic lights and cross walks or much traffic

Sechel
Sechel

this highlights that the danger to u.s. workers isn't foreign competition but automation. Trump is fighting the wrong bogeymen

JONZDOG
JONZDOG

Automation. Fighting that is like the Teamster's battling the rail cars carrying truck trailers. Everywhere you go the results of that battle are shown as a train passes you by with 100 to 200 trailers. Lots of trucking jobs open out there for truck drivers it seems the younger generation doesn't want them, maybe they see the future as being unemployed 10 or more years down the road.

njbr
njbr

"Safety driver" is just for PR purposes.

A couple days of seamless operation of the autonomous driving system and the "safety driver" will have a hard time reacting to a crisis in a timely manner. Their attention wanders, the mind goes elsewhere, a cell-phone beckons....

This has been proven over and over.

And, is the risk of being a "safety driver" worth it?

...Prosecutors in Arizona have charged the safety driver behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber test car that struck and killed a woman in 2018 with negligent homicide.

Court records show that Rafaela Vasquez, 46, on Tuesday pleaded not guilty in the death of Elaine Herzberg.

Vasquez is the only person facing criminal consequences in the first death of a pedestrian involving a self-driving vehicle, after prosecutors last year said Uber was not criminally liable in the crash.

Federal regulators, however, have said that while the probable cause of the crash was Vasquez’s failure to monitor the driving environment, Uber’s technology flaws and “insufficient” state policies also played a role.

Herzberg died in March 2018 after being struck by a self-driving SUV while walking a bicycle across a street at night in Tempe, Arizona.

Tempe police said the self-driving car was driving at about 40 miles an hour in autonomous mode at the time of the crash, and a police report said Vasquez was repeatedly looking down while the car was moving instead of keeping her eyes on the road. Vasquez was the vehicle’s “backup” driver, meaning she sat in the front seat and was responsible for monitoring the car’s movements....

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

LOWEST PRICES EVERY DAY!!!

Lance Manly
Lance Manly

Makes you wonder about Tesla's rise to the stratosphere with everyone saying it is really about the autonomous tech. With this much going on across the industry it might not be that long before autonomous tech becomes a commodity.

njbr
njbr

It used to be the "final mile issue".

Now it's the "final 100 feet" issue.

Johnson1
Johnson1

Crazy how all asset prices are going up. I own would be considered a low income rental home. It is up 100% in valuation in 3 years. Zillow says it will go up another 15% in 2021.

Easy money.

That being said, I have had the same renter for 4 years and only increased the rent $25/month during those 4 years. The rental property management company says I can raise the rent 30% or $300 / month more as that is what nearby rentals are renting for. Rental property manager said a lot of families members are moving back home. They think it is because of Covid, which is partly true, but what if it is because they need to combine incomes to cover rent?

I do need to increase the rent at least $125 / month just to cover the increase in property tax and insurance.

DaveInArizona
DaveInArizona

What does the autonomous vehicle do if a ball bounces out in the road, or a rabbit, or a plastic bag blown by the wind? Does it stop for the ball in traffic, but not the bag? Can it drive in heavy rain, with lightening flashes. How does it handle a bicycle and rider weaving along the side of the road, or a maintenance truck with flashing lights? Human drivers evaluate each situation and use "common sense." But these robots will clearly be hazards and major annoyances. Flying delivery drones I can see as practical in the near future. But not wheeled robots in traffic.

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

Here come the modern stagecoach robberies. All a group of bandits needs to do is surround the truck and force it to stop. There's little chance of a botched robbery if there is no person in the delivery truck.


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