Kodiak starts deliveries with self-driving lorries
August 21, 2109
Kodiak Robotics, a California self-driving technology start-up for long-haul trucking, has started making its first commercial deliveries with a safety driver behind the wheel just 16 months after the company was formed.
Kodiak will be supporting its growing testing and freight operations from a new facility in north Texas.
Kodiak operates as a freight carrier, with self-driving trucks operating on middle-kilometre highway routes. Since the company's founding in 2018, it has grown from an idea to a reality, with a growing fleet of lorries and the launch of freight operations for users in Texas.
The company's team is led by CEO Don Burnette, a specialist in the AV industry, with over a decade of experience working in the emerging autonomous vehicle field.
"We could not be more excited to announce our expansion into Texas, with an office in the Dallas-Fort Worth area," said Burnette. "In just over a year, we've gone from founding Kodiak to putting our trucks on the road and hauling freight for customers. Making such rapid progress wouldn't be possible without our strong, experienced team, who've been working with autonomous vehicles since the early days of the industry. 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."
Kodiak believes its self-driving lorries are poised to revolutionise the freight industry as its technology will make highways safer while reducing the cost of carrying freight and, for longer routes, the time it takes to move goods.
"We are thrilled by the reception we've received from all Texans," said 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. 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."
Thomas Bamonte, senior programme manager for automated vehicles for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, added: "We're pleased to welcome Kodiak to Dallas-Fort Worth. As a region adding more than one million new residents each decade, it is important to develop a comprehensive strategy for the safe and reliable movement of people and goods. Our policy officials on the Regional Transportation Council have been very forward-thinking in their recognition of technology as part of the answer, which is positioning our region as a leader in the automated vehicle industry."
And Christopher Poe, TTI assistant agency director, said: "We are excited that Kodiak Robotics will have a major presence in Texas. Texas is a leader in the testing and implementation of connected and automated vehicles, and Kodiak's willingness to partner with academia and public agencies to ensure safe deployment of new technology will add significant value to our transportation system."
Kodiak Robotics is backed by investors including Battery Ventures, CRV, Lightspeed Ventures and Tusk Ventures, and is based in Mountain View, California.