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Tyson Foods Is Using Autonomous Delivery Trucks in Northwest Arkansas

Sept. 6, 2023
Partner Gatik AI provides unmanned vehicles to Tyson distribution and storage facilities in the Rogers and Springdale, Ark., areas.

Tyson Foods and a logistics partner have begun to deploy autonomous refrigerated box trucks operating 18 hours a day on Tyson routes in northwest Arkansas. It’s one way to face a nationwide driver shortage, among other issues.

The deliveries began this week. Gatik AI Inc., a provider of autonomous middle mile logistics, announced the multi-year collaboration with the meat company. Their trucks deliver Tyson, Jimmy Dean and BallPark products, among others, to the company’s distribution and storage facilities in the Rogers and Springdale, Ark., areas.

A safety driver initially will be present in the cab to monitor the autonomous system and take command of operating the truck if required. The autonomous trucks are equipped with a 26-foot temperature-controlled box, purpose-built to transport refrigerated and frozen goods quickly and safely and multiple sensor modalities that are custom-designed for fail-safe short-haul B2B operations. 

They operate on predetermined short-haul, repeated routes. In addition to the labor savings, Gatik says autonomous trucks operate with increased efficiency and sustainability, leading to reduced emissions and enhanced fuel economy. Both sides said there is the potential for expansion at other Tyson locations.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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