Kodiak Robotics truck in entrance of an IKEA retailer.
Supply: Kodiak Robotics
Self-driving truck startup Kodiak Robotics stated that it has begun a pilot program with IKEA in Texas.
A semitruck geared up with Kodiak’s autonomous driving system is making every day supply runs from an IKEA warehouse close to Houston to a retailer near Dallas, roughly 300 miles away.
The vans have human security drivers on board, however they’re being pushed by Kodiak’s autonomous-driving system.
Kodiak’s CEO, Don Burnette, stated that he is not trying to put truck drivers out of enterprise – in reality, he is aiming to make their lives simpler.
“Adopting autonomous trucking expertise can enhance drivers’ high quality of life by specializing in the native driving jobs most want to do,” Burnette stated. “Collectively [with IKEA] we will improve security, enhance working situations for drivers, and create a extra sustainable freight transportation system.”
This is not Kodiak’s first self-driving rodeo. The corporate has been working freight in Texas with its autonomous take a look at vans since 2019, and not too long ago opened a brand new route between Dallas and Oklahoma Metropolis. Kodiak has additionally performed pilot exams with logistics giants Werner Enterprises and U.S. Xpress, working self-driving vans on routes from Dallas to Lake Metropolis, Florida, and Atlanta, respectively.
Texas has develop into a hotbed for self-driving truck testing, partly due to favorable rules — and in addition 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 Automotive Challenge, 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 vans in Texas. Aurora started a Texas pilot with Werner Enterprises in April, working on a 600-mile stretch between Fort Value and El Paso. One other startup, TuSimple, has been testing its self-driving semitrucks in Arizona and is planning to develop to Texas subsequent yr.