Kodiak Robotics
Werner Kodiak

Kodiak, Werner partner to run 24/7 autonomous long-haul freight operations

Sept. 29, 2022
Self-driving truck company Kodiak and Werner Enterprises will establish an autonomous lane after a using a pilot program to show autonomous truck efficiency with a transfer hub model at truckports.

Autonomous trucking company Kodiak Robotics will collaborate with transportation and logistics provider Werner Enterprises to establish an autonomous trucking lane and showcase how autonomous trucks can be used with a transfer hub model, according to a Kodiak press release.

The relationship began in August with a week-long pilot program in which a Kodiak truck, accompanied by a human safety driver at all times, completed round trips involving eight segments between Dallas and Lake City, Florida. Werner Enterprises (No. 12 on the FleetOwner 500: Top For-Hire Fleets of 2022 list) also joined Kodiak's partner deployment program, which helps carriers establish autonomous freight operations and integrate the Kodiak Driver, Kodiak's self-driving system, into their fleet.

See also: Autonomous, electric, and the 'truck of the future'

"Working with Kodiak enables us to efficiently incorporate new technologies into our business while giving us a competitive edge," said Chad Dittberner, Werner's SVP of van/expedited. "We're eager to establish the hybrid model of drivers and ongoing autonomous lanes to create new and unparalleled levels of efficiency while staying focused on Werner's value of putting safety first."

During its pilot with Werner, Kodiak completed 152 hours of driving time and achieved 100% on-time delivery performance, according to the release. Werner had trailers ready for a Kodiak self-driving truck to pick up on both ends of the trip. Werner's local drivers completed the first-mile pickups and last-mile deliveries. This model is designed to maximize the amount of time the autonomous system spends driving, according to Kodiak.

See also: Kodiak’s ‘Pilot’ project will test autonomous truckports at travel centers

"Werner's vision for incorporating autonomous trucks into their future operations demonstrates a fundamental understanding of where autonomous technology fits within the trucking industry," said Don Burnette, Kodiak’s founder and CEO. "The Kodiak Driver is designed to do the often-undesirable highway portions of long-haul routes, allowing drivers to handle the deliveries that let them sleep in their own beds at night. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Werner and introducing new permanent lanes together."

The joint effort with Werner Enterprises is the most recent carrier relationship to be announced by Kodiak. Earlier this year, the company announced partnerships with U.S. Xpress, 10 Roads Express and CEVA Logistics.

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