As a strategic investor, Pilot Flying J carry quite a lot of advantages. Along with monetary backing, the corporate will be part of Kodiak’s board of administrators. We’ll additionally open an autonomous truckport close to Atlanta, Georgia, to progress towards Kodiak’s objective of automating the “center mile.”
Center mile automation means hauling hundreds autonomously over the lengthy distances between the “first mile” and the “final mile”. These factors, at both finish of a journey, contain advanced city driving, at which human truck drivers excel. The center mile includes extra routine long-distance freeway driving.
The Kodiak partnership with Pilot Flying J demonstrates how effectively this mannequin can serve human drivers, who’re the spine of Pilot Flying J’s buyer base. Human truck drivers typically should spend lengthy intervals of time away from their households whereas hauling freight over that center mile, from coast to coast. Drivers regularly sleeping at the back of their truck cabs, whereas their households are again dwelling, in one other state.
An autonomous center mile would enhance general freight site visitors, which means much more native jobs for people driving the primary and final mile. As a substitute of getting to haul freight coast-to-coast, spending days or even weeks on the street, drivers may haul hundreds within the dwelling space and spend each evening with their households.
To carry this imaginative and prescient to fruition, Kodiak and Pilot Flying J will work collectively to effectively hand off hundreds between Kodiak’s autonomous vans and human-driven vans overlaying the primary and final mile.
That’s what makes this partnership, and what it may flip into, so thrilling.