Autonomous Truck CEO Promises to “Revolutionize Long-Haul Trucking” Soon
Dallas, TX – A California-based autonomous trucking company startup announced on Tuesday it has begun making commercial deliveries with a safety driver behind the wheel, but has even bigger plans to begin to “revolutionize” trucking.
Kodiak Robotics based in Mountain View, California, was formed 16 months ago and is already making commercial deliveries and expanding operations into a brand new facility in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to the company.
The company says the new Texas operations facility will be used to support and grow testing efforts for its self-driving trucks as well as expand its freight operations.
Kodiak says it operates as a true freight carrier, with self-driving trucks operating on “middle mile” highway routes.
“In just over a year, we’ve gone from founding Kodiak to putting our trucks on the road and hauling freight for customers, Kodiak’s CEO Don Burnette said in today’s announcement.
Burnette is promising Kodiak will soon “revolutionize long-haul trucking” with the deployment of its autonomous trucks.
“As industry veterans, we’ve seen where self-driving technology has fallen short, and have a clear vision for how to make it work and work safely,” he said.
Texas political and business leaders are cheering Kodiak’s expansion into their state, according to Paz Eshel, COO and Co-Founder of Kodiak Robotics..
“From Governor Abbott to the Department of Public Safety to the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), we’ve received nothing but support,” Eshel said.
“We look forward to continuing to build meaningful community partnerships in Texas, and helping to make sure that Texas is the home of autonomous trucking.”
Kodiak is backed by investors including Battery Ventures, CRV, Lightspeed Ventures and Tusk Ventures.
Kodiak promises its financial backers that its technology will “make highways safer while reducing the cost of carrying freight and, for longer routes, the time it takes to move goods.”
Autonomous truck investors are hoping to deploy the technology across numerous trucking applications sooner rather than later.
U.S. Government Leaders Getting On-Board
United States government agencies and officials are also working to help speed up the deployment of autonomous trucks.
In May, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to remove “unnecessary” regulations slowing the deployment of automated driving systems (ADS).
Additionally, lawmakers in statehouses across the nation are urging legislators to adopt autonomous-friendly rules in hopes of cashing in on the tax revenue boon the emerging industry is promising to deliver.
Arizona is already a leader in autonomous truck testing, while most recently, Florida and Louisiana lawmakers passed new legislation to encourage the speedy deployment of autonomous trucks.
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) was among the only news organizations to report the findings of a study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released in March.
In it, the GAO warned that autonomous trucks could displace as many as 900,000 professional truck drivers in as soon as the next decade.
READ a complete report on that study HERE.
As for Kodiak’s Burnette, he seemingly agrees with the GAO because he is making this bold prediction.
“Autonomous trucks will soon be the biggest revolution in logistics since the container ship,” he recently said.
Get all the recent autonomous trucking news HERE.
(Photo courtesy of Kodiak Robotics)