Kodiak Robotics, Forward Partner on Autonomous Trucking for Dallas-Atlanta Route
Kodiak Robotics, which develops self-driving trucks, has announced an agreement with Forward Air Corp. to operate autonomous freight service 24 hours per day, six days per week (24/6) between Dallas and Atlanta, making three round trips daily.
Providing consistent, 24/6 service creates significant operational and technical complexities. Despite these challenges, Kodiak said it has maintained a perfect safety record and provided top-quality customer service to Forward. To date, Kodiak has delivered more than 100 loads and driven more than 100,000 miles since it began working with Forward in August 2022. In order to maintain the demanding schedule and abide by the hours-of-service regulations, Kodiak’s self-driving truck operates with a safety driver team overseeing the autonomous system.
“To serve our customers, we always need to be on the forefront of exploring emerging technologies,” said Tom Schmitt, Chairman, President and CEO of Forward. “Kodiak has earned an outstanding reputation in safe autonomous trucking, and this collaboration allows us to explore potential benefits to our business. While we don’t see autonomous trucks replacing independent contractor capacity, this could potentially be a scalable solution for certain lanes in our network.”
Kodiak said its ability to operate consistent 24-hour service across the nearly 800 mile freight lane between Dallas and Atlanta is largely attributable to the reliability and ruggedness of its autonomous system and the unique flexibility and speed of its sparse mapping solution. This proprietary mapping approach speeds the process of introducing new autonomous lanes, and it enables Kodiak to issue real-time, fleet-wide mapping updates over-the-air.
“We are proving out our business model by moving time-sensitive freight across thousands of miles and multiple hours of service through our collaboration with Forward,” said Don Burnette, Founder and CEO, Kodiak. “The tweener lane between Dallas and Atlanta is long and difficult to staff, so it perfectly illustrates how autonomous trucks can make the supply chain more efficient and resilient and supplement our customers’ human driven fleets. At the same time, we are showcasing the reliability and ruggedness of our autonomous system, which is able to operate for six days straight without needing rest or recalibration — a significant achievement.”
Kodiak said it has partnerships with several other companies, including IKEA, Werner Enterprises, U.S. Xpress, 10 Roads Express and CEVA Logistics. To learn more about Kodiak Robotics and its technologies, visit its website here.