Original Article, J. Menzies, trucknews, December 30, 2021
If a return to normalcy was what you were hoping for this time last year, then 2021 probably didn’t deliver on your wishes. In fact, it was an unprecedented year for the Canadian trucking industry in many different ways.
The Covid pandemic continued to have a major impact on the trucking industry and pushed global supply chains to the limit. Beyond the limit, in some cases. But despite those challenges the trucking industry’s innovation marched ahead undeterred. Electric trucks took a giant leap forward in 2021, and the first automated delivery vehicles hit Canadian roads.
The first automated trucks hit Canadian roads in 2021. Loblaw partnered with Gatik to deploy automated delivery vehicles on “the middle mile,” or between an automatic picking facility in the Toronto area to five retail locations.
The five trucks deployed in January continue to operate with a safety driver on-board. Meanwhile, Canadian Tire invested a million dollars into deploying automated trucks provided by NuPort Robotics. The trucks are transporting goods between a Canadian Tire distribution center and nearby rail terminals. As with the Gatik units, a driver continues to be in the cab at all times.