Kodiak Robotics Autonomous Truck
Kodiak Robotics, Inc., a self-driving trucking company, has teamed up with U.S. Xpress, one of America’s largest carrier fleets, to launch continuous Level 4 autonomous freight service between Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta using Kodiak’s self-driving trucks. This strategic partnership also marks the launch of the first commercial autonomous trucking lane to the East Coast.
In late March, a Kodiak truck and U.S. Xpress trailers completed a pilot, hauling freight four round-trips (eight segments), approximately 6,350 miles, delivering eight commercial loads between Dallas and Atlanta.
The truck ran 24 hours a day for 131 total hours, or nearly five-and-a-half full days.
As part of this partnership, a Kodiak autonomous tractor picked up and delivered U.S. Xpress pre-loaded trailers.
A rotating team of four professional Kodiak safety drivers oversaw the autonomous system.
In addition to Dallas to Atlanta, Kodiak has been delivering freight daily on the 240-mile lane from Dallas to Houston since mid-2019, and on the 280-mile lane between Dallas and San Antonio since mid-2021.
Don Burnette, Founder and CEO of Kodiak, says: “Our partnership with U.S. Xpress marks our service expansion to the East Coast. We believe it is the furthest east any company has delivered multiple loads using autonomous technology. Having the capacity to sustain 24/7 operations across the more than 750 miles between Dallas and Atlanta — two of our nation’s busiest freight hubs — represents a giant step forward for Kodiak, and for the AV trucking industry as a whole. We chose to make U.S. Xpress a cornerstone partner in our Partner Deployment Program because we see U.S. Xpress and its Variant division as ideal long-term partners for the deployment and scaling of our autonomous long-haul solution.”
“This pilot demonstrated to our operations teams and our customers the benefits that can come with autonomous technology,” adds Eric Fuller, President and CEO of U.S. Xpress. “We fundamentally believe that Kodiak’s autonomous technology will allow us to scale our fleet while increasing truck utilization compared to a human-driven truck. Our strategic partnership is helping both of our teams identify ways to quickly integrate and scale autonomous technology into our fleet once it is commercially available.”
Kodiak Robotics, Inc. was founded in 2018 to develop autonomous technology that carries freight forward, the company is developing a technology stack purpose-built specifically for long-haul trucks, making the freight industry safer and more efficient.