Kodiak, Ikea Partner on Autonomous Freight Delivery Pilot
[Stay on top of transportation news: Get TTNews in your inbox.]
Kodiak Robotics Inc. has started piloting autonomous freight deliveries in Texas in cooperation with Ikea Supply Chain Operations, the companies announced Oct. 18.
Ikea products will be transported seven days a week using an autonomous heavy-duty truck.
The route will run between the Ikea Distribution Center in Baytown and the Ikea Store in Frisco. The cooperation between the companies began Aug. 8.
“Ikea and Kodiak share a commitment to putting safety first,” Kodiak CEO Don Burnette said. “Together we can enhance safety, improve working conditions for drivers, and create a more sustainable freight transportation system.”
Kodiak said the main purpose of running the route is to get a better understanding of how its autonomous driving technology contributes to increased road safety and better working conditions for truck drivers on the longer distances. The driverless truck has a professional safety driver behind the wheel who picks up a loaded trailer at the distribution center each morning and oversees the autonomous delivery to the store by late afternoon.
“Adopting autonomous trucking technology can improve drivers’ quality of life by focusing on the local driving jobs most prefer to do,” Burnette said. “We look forward to working with the Ikea carrier partners to bring these benefits to the Ikea supply chain.”
Kodiak said it’s able to leverage its built-for-scale solution to rapidly and safely add new lanes. These include the recently announced launch of commercial operations between Dallas and Oklahoma City and service between Dallas and Atlanta. Kodiak has been delivering freight daily between Dallas and Houston since mid-2019, and delivering freight between Dallas and San Antonio since mid-2021.
Ikea's Baytown distribution center. (Google Maps)
“We are proud to be working with Kodiak to achieve our ambitious goals of being at the forefront of innovation and building capabilities for future transportation,” said Dariusz Mroczek, category area transport manager at Ikea Supply Chain Operations. “Kodiak’s technology will contribute toward our objective to put the driver in focus in the transition toward automated transportation and toward our road safety agenda.”
Kodiak has been developing autonomous technology since its founding in 2018. Its main focus has been longhaul trucking operations. Its modular hardware approach integrates sensors into a streamlined sensor-pod structure that optimizes for perception, scalability and maintainability.
Want more news? Listen to today's daily briefing below or go here for more info: