Gatik secures $41 million CAD from Isuzu Motors as pair expands partnership to build autonomous trucks

Japanese automaker and tech firm with Canadian ties gear up to deliver driverless trucking.

Autonomous trucking startup Gatik AI and Japanese commercial vehicle manufacturer Isuzu Motors have teamed up to develop and produce self-driving trucks.

For Gatik and Isuzu, which have worked together since 2021, this marks an expansion of their existing partnership. Isuzu has also made an equity investment of $41 million CAD ($30 million USD) into Gatik as part of this deal. 

“[This] not only signals [Isuzu’s] commitment to the future of autonomous trucking but demonstrates their confidence in the Gatik team to lead the way.”

Gautam Narang, Gatik

Gatik and Isuzu plan to collaborate on the design, development, and production of an SAE Level 4 autonomous truck with redundant safety systems covering areas like braking, steering, and sensors. The pair intend to work together to build a new vehicle frame or chassis that is compatible with Gatik’s autonomous driving tech. 

The goal is to build this truck platform at a dedicated manufacturing facility established by Isuzu that will begin operations in 2027.

“We’re currently at a moment where all eyes are on a handful of leaders in autonomous trucking to bring the technology to the next level and achieve freight-only operations at scale,” Gatik co-founder and CEO Gautam Narang told BetaKit. “Isuzu’s expanded partnership with Gatik and investment into our company not only signals their commitment to the future of autonomous trucking but demonstrates their confidence in the Gatik team to lead the way.”

A Gatik spokesperson confirmed to BetaKit that the company plans to use this funding from Isuzu to deliver “freight-only” operations—meaning trucks that operate autonomously without a human in the driver’s seat—by the end of 2025.

Founded in 2017, Gatik focuses on middle-mile, business-to-business logistics for large companies. Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Gatik has offices in Dallas-Fort Worth and Toronto, where it partnered with Loblaw to deploy its driverless trucks in 2022 in what the company claimed marked a first for Canada.  

RELATED: In Canadian first, Gatik and Loblaw take safety drivers out of autonomous delivery trucks

The self-driving tech firm, which has received funding and permission from the Government of Ontario to develop and test its driverless trucks solution on public roads in the province, also counts Toronto-based Wittington Ventures and Intact Ventures among its investors.

Today, Gatik works with companies like Loblaw and Walmart, and its autonomous box trucks are currently commercially deployed in Arkansas, Texas, and Ontario. Gatik’s partners include Ryder and Goodyear—which, like Isuzi, is also an investor. Since it began making autonomous deliveries, Gatik claims it has completed over 600,000 commercial orders across North America. The startup’s current fleet consists of more than 60 trucks.

Level 4 marks the second-highest level of driving autonomy as defined by SAE International. It falls just shy of the full autonomy associated with Level 5. At Level 4, drivers are not involved in the process, but autonomous vehicles still have certain geographic limits imposed on them, whereas at Level 5, self-driving vehicles operate without any limitations.

According to Gatik, trucks made at this planned facility will have autonomous vehicle tech baked in during the manufacturing process. The company claims this approach differs from how autonomous trucks are currently built, with the tech plugged into existing trucks after they have been constructed.

Feature image courtesy Gatik.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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