Tyson Foods announced a multi-year plan to deploy a fleet of autonomous vehicles to deliver hot dogs, sausages, and other food products in northwestern Arkansas.
In a September 6 announcement, Springdale, Arkansas-headquartered Tyson Foods announced a partnership with Gatik AI, Inc. to use autonomous refrigerated box trucks to deliver Tyson, Jimmy Dean, and BallPark products, from the plant to facilities in the Rogers and Springdale, Arkansas areas, starting this week.
Tyson says that the autonomous box trucks will operate 18 hours per day with a safety driver inside the cab “initially” to monitor the autonomous operations and take control of the vehicle if necessary.
“In a nationwide truck driver shortage, these autonomous trucks are an innovative and safe way to add resources that will allow the company to elevate drivers to other transportation positions in the Tyson business, while ensuring continuous supply chain reliability,” the company said.
“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.”
“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.”