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 outfitted with Kodiak’s autonomous driving system is making each day supply runs from an IKEA warehouse close to Houston to a retailer near Dallas, roughly 300 miles away.
The vehicles 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 actual fact, he is aiming to make their lives simpler.
“Adopting autonomous trucking know-how can enhance drivers’ high quality of life by specializing in the native driving jobs most favor to do,” Burnette stated. “Collectively [with IKEA] we will improve security, enhance working circumstances for drivers, and create a extra sustainable freight transportation system.”
This is not Kodiak’s first self-driving rodeo. The corporate has been operating freight in Texas with its autonomous check vehicles since 2019, and just lately opened a brand new route between Dallas and Oklahoma Metropolis. Kodiak has additionally carried out pilot checks with logistics giants Werner Enterprises and U.S. Xpress, operating self-driving vehicles on routes from Dallas to Lake Metropolis, Florida, and Atlanta, respectively.
Texas has change into a hotbed for self-driving truck testing, partially 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 Automotive Venture, 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 vehicles in Texas. Aurora started a Texas pilot with Werner Enterprises in April, operating on a 600-mile stretch between Fort Price and El Paso. One other startup, TuSimple, has been testing its self-driving semitrucks in Arizona and is planning to develop to Texas subsequent 12 months.