Kodiak Robotics truck in entrance of an IKEA retailer.
Source: Kodiak Robotics
Self-driving truck startup Kodiak Robotics mentioned that it has begun a pilot program with IKEA in Texas.
A semitruck geared up with Kodiak’s autonomous driving system is making day by day delivery runs from an IKEA warehouse close to Houston to a retailer near Dallas, roughly 300 miles away.
The trucks have human security drivers on board, however they’re being pushed by Kodiak’s autonomous-driving system.
Kodiak’s CEO, Don Burnette, mentioned that he is not seeking to put truck drivers out of enterprise – in reality, he is aiming to make their lives simpler.
“Adopting autonomous trucking technology can improve drivers’ quality of life by focusing on the local driving jobs most prefer to do,” Burnette mentioned. “Together [with IKEA] we can enhance safety, improve working conditions for drivers, and create a more sustainable freight transportation system.”
This is not Kodiak’s first self-driving rodeo. The firm has been working freight in Texas with its autonomous take a look at trucks since 2019, and just lately opened a brand new route between Dallas and Oklahoma City. Kodiak has additionally carried out pilot tests with logistics giants Werner Enterprises and U.S. Xpress, working self-driving trucks on routes from Dallas to Lake City, Florida, and Atlanta, respectively.
Texas has change into a hotbed for self-driving truck testing, in half due to favorable laws — and likewise as a result of the lengthy freeway stretches between its cities are perfect for automation. Waymo, the Alphabet subsidiary that grew out of the Google Self-Driving Car Project, has been testing a fleet of self-driving Freightliner semitrucks (with human security drivers) on a route between Dallas and Houston for a number of months.
Self-driving truck startup Aurora Innovation has additionally been testing trucks in Texas. Aurora started a Texas pilot with Werner Enterprises in April, working on a 600-mile stretch between Fort Worth and El Paso. Another startup, TuSimple, has been testing its self-driving semitrucks in Arizona and is planning to broaden to Texas subsequent yr.