Home Business framework Loblaw Commissions Third-Party Safety Review Endorsing Gatik’s Autonomous Technology for Completely Driverless Operations

Loblaw Commissions Third-Party Safety Review Endorsing Gatik’s Autonomous Technology for Completely Driverless Operations


TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Gatik, the market leader in mid-mile autonomous logistics, today revealed details of an extensive third-party safety assessment ahead of the rollout of Canada’s first fully driverless commercial operations . The safety review was commissioned by Canada’s largest food and pharmaceutical retailer, Loblaw Companies Limited (TSX: L, “Loblaw”).

“Security is at the heart of everything we do at Gatik,” said Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder of Gatik. “We integrate security into all facets of our business, from initial concept to commercial deployment. It spans all levels of our technology, processes and operations, and resides deep in the cultural makeup of the company. We were very pleased to participate in the extensive security review and strongly encourage this level of review to become the standard in our industry. »

Gatik operates its network of self-driving vans in several cities, both in the United States and Canada. This includes fully driverless operations in two locations and autonomous operations with safety drivers in 5 markets. Currently, the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry awaits the implementation of common standards to assess and confirm the safety and security of AV systems before they are rolled out for wider adoption. Today’s announcement underscores Gatik’s commitment to ensuring transparency and clarity in the company’s systems engineering approach to the development and safe deployment of its autonomous fleet.

Gatik’s comprehensive three-month technology assessment was designed to assess safety and security prior to the launch of Gatik’s fully driverless commercial delivery service with Loblaw. A team of third-party experts was deployed to create and execute an end-to-end Gatik technology solution assessment framework covering the landscape of ISO/SAE and NHTSA standards, including NIST Framework, SAE J3061 security standards , ISO/SAE 21434 and UNECE R155. The evaluation included a rigorous series of system-level and component-level tests, the successful completion of which provided clear and comprehensive validation that Gatik’s fully driverless technology is safe enough to operate on public roads.

The assessment first looked at Gatik’s technology solution, subsystems and their functions, development and deployment practices, and standards and regulatory compliance. The assessment confirmed that the following Autonomous Driving System (ADS) requirements have been met by Gatik:

✔ ADS functionality automation level(s) is/are clearly defined based on SAE automation levels found in J3016. The definition of the level of automation identifies the agent responsible for the dynamic driving task (DDT) in different circumstances and the intended use of the vehicle is clearly indicated.

✔ The ADS feature(s) have a clearly defined Operational Design Domain (ODD). Domain constraints are known and the vehicle will respond in a safe and predictable manner when the ODD is exceeded.

✔ The vehicle has OEDR capabilities suited to its ODD that allow safe and appropriate action to be taken when subjected to everyday traffic conditions, as well as unexpected events.

✔ Where applicable, the vehicle and ADS comply with safety standards and best practices, such as those developed by SAE International and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

✔ Safety risks have been considered throughout the development of the vehicle and ADS technologies. Sufficient pre-deployment testing was performed and validation methods were used to verify performance, safety of intended functionality, occupant safety and fault handling. Validation and verification were used to ensure the safe integration and operation of the vehicle and ADS functionality in everyday traffic and in response to unexpected events and various weather conditions.

✔ The vehicle is equipped with safety systems with appropriate redundancies that continuously monitor system performance, perform fault detection and hazard analysis, report any malfunctions and ultimately take corrective action or return to a condition minimal risk if necessary.

✔ Vehicle controls are accessible to users (ie intuitive and easy to understand). The vehicle can communicate critical messages to occupants and other road users when needed, taking into account relevant accessibility factors, the needs of different occupants and the intended use of the vehicle.

✔ Concrete actions have been taken to ensure awareness of the capabilities and limitations of the vehicle’s ADS functionalities, as well as the vehicle’s safe fallback conditions.

✔ The vehicle is equipped with adequate active and passive safety devices to protect occupants and other road users, and to mitigate injury and damage in the event of system failure. The vehicle will be returned to a safe state after a system failure and will transmit safety-critical information to passengers, first responders and emergency services.

✔ Adequate design and mitigation strategies have been developed to protect the ADS equipped vehicle from cyber threats.

✔ In the event of a system update or aftermarket repair or modification, measures are in place to verify that all vehicle systems continue to operate safely and as intended.

✔ In the event of a collision or other incident, data collected by vehicles and ADS functionality is shared with federal, provincial/territorial and municipal law enforcement agencies and government agencies to support investigations, including defect and collision investigations.

As part of the assessment, Gatik’s system underwent tests that included: end-to-end technology solution assessment, development and deployment processes, standards and regulatory compliance, risk and control measures evaluation as well as testing at the physical component, subsystem and vehicle level. . Physical testing of these vehicles on Gatik’s closed circuits included fault injection and several edge case tests – e.g. sensor data degradation and fault injection, GPS jamming/spoofing to disrupt navigation, disabling the brakes, or sending incorrect throttle commands with objects ahead. This also included replacing RADAR and LIDAR data representing fake empty road situations for the system, while having real objects in front of the truck mimicking sensor failures or malicious hacking. The results confirmed that Gatik’s autonomous technology does not create an unreasonable risk to the safety of other road users.

“Canada is on the cusp of enormous potential in driverless commercial delivery, an area led by Loblaw,” said Vivek Khindria, Senior Vice President, Cybersecurity, Networks and Technology Risk. “We commissioned an independent, third-party assessment to validate the security and safety of Gatik’s autonomous system, and we are pleased with the results.”

“Security is not achieved by a single factor, but by the combination of best practices, multiple layers of system redundancy, state-of-the-art techniques, exhaustive validation, sound engineering judgment, and continuing to build on our proven track record of delivering exceptional results,” Apeksha said. Kumavat, co-founder and chief engineer at Gatik. “We took the opportunity for our system to undergo a rigorous review process and validate our technology before beginning fully driverless operations with the nation’s largest retailer.”

Gatik’s fail-safe approach to fully driverless operations builds on the company’s foundational Operational Design Domain (ODD) framework, which aims to provide a structure for defining autonomous stack capabilities at a given point, and connect these capabilities to routes and areas of operation. This allows Gatik to gradually deploy, test and validate targeted releases, enabling the structured expansion of SDGs for fully driverless operations in a predictable and value-driven manner. This in turn allows Gatik to deploy on a given safety-validated route while developing additional functional capabilities on other routes, paving the way for continued commercial expansion of Gatik’s fully driverless operations.

About Gatik

Gatik, the leader in mid-mile autonomous logistics, delivers goods safely and efficiently using its fleet of light and medium trucks. The company focuses on B2B short-haul logistics for Fortune 500 retailers and in 2021 became the first company in the world to operate fully driverless commercial deliveries in the middle mile. Gatik’s Class 3-6 self-driving vans are commercially deployed in several markets, including Ontario, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. Founded in 2017 by veterans of the autonomous technology industry, the company partners with industry leaders including Ryder, Goodyear, Isuzu and Cummins, and has offices in Toronto, Ontario, and Mountain View , in California. In 2022, Gatik was named to Forbes’ list of America’s Top Startup Employers and by Fast Company as an Idea Changing the World. In 2021, Gatik was recognized on the Forbes AI 50 list and as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum.

About Loblaw Companies Limited (TSX: L)

Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada’s leading food and drugstore and the country’s largest retailer. Loblaw provides Canadians with groceries, drugstores, health and beauty products, apparel, general merchandise, financial services, and mobile wireless products and services. With more than 2,400 corporate, franchise and associate locations, Loblaw, its franchisees and associate owners employ approximately 200,000 full-time and part-time employees, making it one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. .