Ushering in the Era of Autonomous Commerce

Rich Steiner, Head of Policy & Communications, Gatik joined Grayson Brulte on The Road to Autonomy Podcast to discuss how Gatik is ushering in the era of autonomous commerce through policy innovations and partnerships.

The conversation begins with Rich discussing how Gatik approached the mid-term election from a policy perspective.

Gatik’s priorities at the Federal level will remain the same. There is a huge amount of work to be done at the Federal level to continue promoting our agenda and that of the broader AV trucking industry and the benefits that we can provide from an economic, safety, and societal perspective.

– Rich Steiner

On the State level, Gatik was able to successfully demonstrate the benefits of autonomous vehicles in support of SB313 in the Kansas State Legislature. When Governor Kelly signed the bill on May 13, 2002, autonomous vehicles were able to legally operate on public roads in the State. A successful triumph for the entire autonomous vehicle industry.

While the bill in Kansas was a triumph, there is an inconsistent policy approach to autonomous vehicles, as autonomous vehicles cannot legally operate in all 50 States. With Gatik currently operating in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana and Texas, Grayson asks Rich if a national autonomous vehicle framework is needed at this time to help Gatik scale its operations.

It’s a hugely important piece of the strategy.

– Rich Steiner

While a national autonomous vehicle framework is important, there has not been an overwhelming bipartisan support for a framework to date. The question is, how can we overcome this impasse to ensure that The United States continues to lead on the development and the deployment of autonomous vehicles? It could happen at the ballot box as consumers begin to reap the benefits of lower costs of goods and increased safety on the roadways and vote for politicians that want a national framework that benefits society.

Autonomy will benefit all aspects of society and autonomy will not just be constrained to the United States as Gatik has expanded to Toronto, Ontario, Canada where they have a partnership with Loblaw. Canada was chosen as the first international expansion for Gatik because of the tech ecosystem and talent pool in the province of Ontario.

The common denominator between Gatik’s operations in the United States and Canada are their world-class partnerships with big-box retailers. In the Canada there is Loblaw and in the United States there is Walmart. Both Loblaw and Walmart have experienced the supply chain crunch and the demand by customers to pick up their goods with-in an hour of ordering them online, creating stress on their current inventory systems. Gatik offered the right solution at the right time.

We presented a solution to the retail industry, e-commerce space at a time when they needed that solution and that’s why some of our partnerships came together so quickly.

– Rich Steiner

It’s a solution that is in use today in Arkansas as Gatik operates a fully autonomous 7.1 mile route from a Walmart dark store to a Walmart retail store on a daily basis.

It’s a seamless integrated efficient solution.

– Rich Steiner

Wrapping up the conversation, Rich shares his thoughts on the future of autonomy.

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Recorded on Tuesday, October 25, 2022