NWA Paving the Way
In an ever growing and evolving society it is not only important, but imperative for technology to stay one step ahead. Northwest Arkansas is home to 3 Fortune 500 companies and a thriving start-up community which will only enhance the technology hub that the region is becoming. The recent buzz about Northwest Arkansas’ tech scene has proven that our region is able and open to fostering success in this industry.
Arkansas Council on Future Mobility
Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he signed an executive order establishing the Arkansas Council on Future Mobility. The council will be tasked with identifying laws that hinder advanced mobility and create solutions for development. They will also seek out partnerships with innovative companies and businesses. The future of mobility looks like driverless operations, fully electric vehicles, drone deliveries, flying cars, and more.
Gatik & Walmart
Gatik and Walmart have partnered together to successfully and safely operate a fleet of fully autonomous delivery trucks. These delivery trucks are moving customer orders between a Walmart dark store and a Neighborhood Market without a driver operating the vehicle. According to an article published by BusinessWire, “this is 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 and Walmart received the first ever approval from the Arkansas State Highway Commission to remove the safety driver after completing 18 months of successful operations. This technology will pave the way for efficiency and success in the middle mile when it comes to the supply chain.
Canoo, an American startup of fully electric vehicles, has chosen to relocate its headquarters to Bentonville and will establish an R&D center in Fayetteville. This move will create at least 545 high-paying jobs in Northwest Arkansas. Canoo has selected a warehouse along SW Regional Airport Blvd to house its advanced industrialization facility. Production of these electric vehicles is expected to take place in late 2022.
Zipline & Walmart
Zipline is the world’s largest designer, manufacturer, and operator of the automated delivery system. Walmart has teamed up with Zipline to offer drone deliveries of health and wellness consumable items such as thermometers, diapers, or non-prescription medications . The first launch pad in NWA was tested at the Pea Ridge Neighborhood Market.