Gatik, a middle-mile self-driving truck company, last week announced a partnership with Isuzu to build self-driving medium-duty trucks. The press release states that the trucks will be deployed this year, which would be no small feat, given the lead times required for automotive production.
What impresses me most about this deal is simply Gatik’s ability to stay alive and relevant in a sea of much larger competitors.
According to LinkedIn, Gatik has between 35 and 200 employees. I guess the precise number is under 100. A lot of other leading autonomous vehicle companies have over 1,000 employees. Gatik has raised $37 million dollars in funding. Aurora (to pick one example) has raised $1.1 billion.
And yet Gatik seems to be pushing the envelope and signing customers. Their Walmart pilot is expanding and going fully driverless. Now they’re supplying an autonomous driver to Isuzu.
Staying independent and financially solvent has become tough for small autonomous vehicle companies. Alex Roy, on The Autonocast, has been predicting large amounts of industry consolidation for over a year, and he’s largely been proven correct.
Gatik is making an impressive go of it alone.