LOS ANGELES – The Giumarra Companies announces a joint project with Mountain View, Calif.-based startup Reliable Robotics Corporation to test shipments of produce utilizing autonomous aircraft technology developed by the latter company. The test flight program, created to help address supply chain and delivery challenges within the fresh produce industry, had its successful inaugural flight on Aug. 7.
“To call this project groundbreaking is an understatement. We believe autonomous aircraft will transform the future of the fresh produce industry,” said Tim Riley, President of the Giumarra Companies. “This test proved that the technology is viable and will evolve the way we bring products to market by enabling us to deliver fresher, riper fruit anywhere in the country, including remote food deserts, at speeds never before seen.”
An automated Cessna 172 Skyhawk, with an engineer and pilot on board for safety assurance, completed a 200-mile journey from Reedley Municipal Airport to Whiteman Airport in Los Angeles. Giumarra previously announced an air freight shipment, completed in partnership with Reliable Robotics on Aug. 7, to deliver peaches grown in the San Joaquin Valley to Southern California grocery retail via a pilot-operated Cessna 208.
In 2019, Reliable Robotics achieved a fully autonomous flight on the Cessna 172 Skyhawk without an onboard pilot. The company has also demonstrated automated landing of the larger Cessna 208 Caravan and is in the process of certifying its automation platform for use on the Caravan, a popular cargo plane ideal for air shipments of produce.
The program serves as compelling proof that automation can improve speed and quality for the entire fresh produce supply chain:
- Utilizing autonomous aircraft, growers and suppliers can quickly and more efficiently deliver farm fresh produce to stores in less time, resulting in less shrink.
- Retailers, particularly those in smaller or more remote markets, can offer consumers fresh produce available at stores within 24-48 hours of being picked.
- Growers can produce varieties optimized for flavor and texture versus long-haul transportation methods.
“Giumarra is a forward-thinking company and we’re proud to partner with them to show how automated cargo flights can greatly improve fresh food distribution,” said Robert Rose, Co-founder and CEO of Reliable Robotics. “We believe autonomous aviation is going to change the way we experience food, for the better.”
Reliable Robotics is currently working with the Federal Aviation Administration on incrementally bringing its autonomous technology to market. The company, founded in 2017 by SpaceX and Tesla veterans, has raised $33.5 million in two funding rounds.
About the Giumarra Companies
The Giumarra Companies is a leading international network of fresh produce growers, distributors, and marketers that encompasses a world of freshness. Since its inception in 1922, the Giumarra group of companies has taken pride in a longstanding commitment and tradition of quality, service, and industry leadership to feed the world in a healthy way. Products packed under the company’s Nature’s Partner label represent some of the highest-quality fruits and vegetables in the marketplace, having met strict standards for food safety, quality control, and flavor. Visit us at www.giumarra.com.
About Reliable Robotics Corporation
Launched by SpaceX and Tesla veterans, Reliable Robotics is revolutionizing commercial aviation with its autonomous flight technology. The company’s systems will enable a future where air transportation is safer, more convenient, more affordable, and transformative to the way goods, and eventually people, travel around the planet. Please visit https://reliable.co/ for more information.
This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to future events. Actual results and events may differ from those projected. This news release is made as of the date hereof, and Giumarra Bros. Fruit Co. (GBFC) and Reliable Robotics Corporation undertake no obligation to update or revise this statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. GBFC and Reliable Robotics make no warranty of any kind, whether express or implied, with regard to any products and services and the use of any marketing, branding, research, advertising, licensing, packaging, trademark, software, plans, projections and/or other data furnished to GBFC, Reliable Robotics, or their agents by contractors, suppliers, independent contractors and third parties, and included in media placements. Any action you take upon the information contained herein is strictly at your own risk. GBFC and Reliable Robotics will not be liable for any losses and damages in connection with the use of this statement. The information contained herein does not constitute investment or advice.
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