- Kodiak Robotics has launched a partnership with carrier 10 Roads Express, completing four commercial delivery routes, according to a press release.
- The work for 10 Roads, which provides time sensitive surface transportation for the U.S. Postal Service, included a Kodiak truck carrying freight across 5,600 miles, beginning in San Antonio to the San Francisco Bay area, to Jacksonville, Florida and finally back to San Antonio.
- “We are focused on servicing routes that fit the real-world needs of our customers,” Don Burnette, founder and CEO of Kodiak in a statement. “10 Roads Express’s network of long length-of-haul routes makes it an ideal partner for Kodiak."
Kodiak traversed the 5,600-mile route in 114 hours over five days, an efficiency that is particularly helpful when delivering time-sensitive freight, like that from 10 Roads.
The commercial run lasted from June 27 to July 2. Like its other recent commercial pilot routes, safety drivers were present at all times, Burnette said in an email, and five drivers rotated shifts throughout the trip.
10 Roads Express provides scheduled truck delivery for U.S. Mail and operates under a USPS Highway Contract, according to the company's website. However, Kodiak could not comment on the contents of the loads delivered for the carrier, "due to our commitment to customer confidentiality," Burnette said in an email.
Kodiak's partnership with 10 Roads Express is another facet of the startup's widening route reach, as autonomous trucking companies across the country look to scale up their capabilities. Kodiak did not specify its next projects with 10 Roads Express, but Burnette said the two companies are working to “identify lanes where they can leverage autonomous trucks in the short term while also evaluating long-term opportunities.”
The startup has secured three trucking partnership so far, with 10 Roads Express joining the list after U.S. Xpress and CEVA Logistics. In April, Kodiak announced a partnership with U.S. Xpress to run an autonomous commercial between Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta, as well as the completion of a round-trip pilot run between Dallas and Atlanta that ran 24 hours a day and completed the journey in 131 hours.
Other companies have previously completed a coast-to-coast self-driving trucking route; for example Embark Trucks drove from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida in 2018, and in 2019 Plus.ai completed a coast-to-coast drive in three days on behalf of Land O'Lakes.
The new partnership, however, does show the growing push from autonomous trucking companies to show what they can do.
Leading startups including Kodiak, Embark and Aurora have recently completed publicized tests of their trucks' safety capabilities, such as successfully pulling off the road when a system error occurs, while others like Waymo are forming strategic partnerships with household brands such as Uber Freight and Wayfair.