Goodyear and autonomous trucking company Gatik have forged a multi-year collaboration to advance the development of mobility solutions for the driverless B2B short-haul logistics industry.
Under the collaboration, Goodyear Ventures participated in Gatik’s recently announced Series B funding, and the companies will work on multiple innovative projects together.
“Gatik’s mission to deliver goods safely and efficiently using autonomous vehicles aligns with our investment strategy, making them a great addition to our portfolio, which already includes key autonomous delivery players in the long-haul and last-mile delivery markets,” Abhijit Ganguly, managing director of Goodyear Ventures, said in a press release.
Building Upon Technology
Ganguly added that the investment will help Goodyear learn more about the implications of autonomous technologies in middle-mile delivery and logistics.
In another part of the collaboration, Gatik’s medium-duty fleet will use tires equipped with tire intelligence technology powered by Goodyear SightLine, building upon Goodyear’s existing connected tire management product offerings. Goodyear SightLine uses sensors with cloud-based algorithms to communicate with fleet operators in real time, helping drivers and fleet managers by predicting breakdown, minimizing downtime, and monitoring tire pressure and wear.
“The benefits of Goodyear’s tire intelligence technology are grounded in enhancing safety, increasing efficiency and reducing costs — principles that are absolutely fundamental to Gatik’s mission and success,” Arjun Narang, CTO and co-founder of Gatik, said in the press release.
$114.5M in Funding
The Series B funding in which Goodyear participated was announced on Aug. 31 and raised $85 million, bringing Gatik’s total funding to $114.5 million.
Gatik has established an autonomous middle-mile logistics network and is rapidly expanding its fleet of Class 3-6 autonomous box trucks for customers into multiple markets, including Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Ontario.
Speaking with PYMNTS shortly after the Series B funding was announced, Gatik CEO and Co-Founder Gautam Narang said the demand for middle-mile logistics has been growing since retail customers everywhere want lower costs, shorter delivery times and sustainable, reliable capacity.
An Autonomous Solution
Driven by consumer expectations of same-day delivery, there’s a need in the middle mile for more trips, more drivers and more trucks.
“The operating costs increase [in] trying to serve multiple additional routes, trying to make these trips frequently,” Narang told PYMNTS. “And that’s where we come in. An autonomous solution like ours can help these retailers operate and scale this service right away.”
This strategy and technology have resonated with investors, as evidenced by Gatik’s $114.5 million in funding.
“The logistics industry is experiencing unprecedented disruption driven by the explosive growth of eCommerce, and demand for more efficient goods movement,” Chase Koch, president of lead investor Koch Disruptive Technologies, said in a statement around the Series B funding. “Nowhere is that more pronounced than on the middle mile.”