Self-driving trucks, without a safety occupant, are now moving between a Walmart supply center and a neighborhood store in Bentonville.

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Experiments like this were authorized by 2021 state legislation.

Yes. both electric and autonomous takeovers of U.S. vehicles are a long way off. But they are a lot closer than they appeared a couple of years ago when a former Arkansas highway department director laughed sneeringly at their impact on Arkansas highway traffic.

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Said a news release:

Gatik’s deployment with Walmart in the state represents the first time that an autonomous trucking company has removed the safety driver from a commercial delivery route on the middle mile anywhere in the world.

Gatik’s fully driverless operations, which began in August 2021, involve consistent, repeated delivery runs multiple times per day, seven days per week on public roads and unlock the full advantages of autonomous delivery for Walmart’s customers: increased speed and responsiveness when fulfilling e-commerce orders, increased asset utilization and enhanced safety for all road users.