Gatik AI, which operates out of Palo Alto and Toronto,
The Ford transit vehicles outfitted with Gatik’s self-driving system will drive up to 200 miles a day and stay within a city environment,
will do short hauls of goods between businesses using autonomous light-commercial trucks and vans. The company is partnering with Walmart and hopes to also gain third-party logistics giants like Amazon, FedEx or even the U.S. Postal Service, auto part distributors, consumer goods, food and beverage distributors as well as medical and pharmaceutical companies.
The strategy has attracted a number of investors and at least one major partner: Walmart. Gatik AI has raised $4.5 million in a seed round led by former CEO and executive chairman of Google Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors. Other investors include AngelPad, Dynamo Fund, Fontinalis Partners, Trucks Venture Capital and angel Lior Ron, who heads Uber Freight.