Kodiak Robotics
Kodiak Sensor Installation

Kodiak pilots autonomous truck roadside inspection program

July 20, 2023
Working with Drivewyze and Texas officials, CVSA’s enhanced inspection program will allow Kodiak self-driving trucks to pre-clear roadside inspections, which the AV company said is a potential solution to a critical regulatory hurdle.

Autonomous trucking company Kodiak Robotics said it is the first to pilot the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s enhanced inspection system, which allows self-driving trucks to pre-clear roadside inspections.

CVSA approved the Enhanced Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Inspection Standard program in 2022. It’s designed to facilitate interactions between autonomous trucks and law enforcement at fixed inspection sites. Kodiak is working with fleet technology provider Drivewyze and its connected truck platform to launch the initiative in Texas. 

The enhanced inspections require a CVSA-certified inspector to examine an autonomous truck thoroughly. The autonomous truck can communicate the outcome of that inspection and other relevant safety information to roadside enforcement officers. AVs in the enhanced inspection program would not be subject to routine roadside inspections at weigh stations and other sites. Texas Department of Public Safety officials will honor enhanced inspections for 24 hours.

See also: How Loadsmith plans to use autonomous trucks to boost driver jobs and cut emissions

“Kodiak has always had an eye on the future, and we congratulate them on this major step forward as the first autonomous truck company to pilot the enhanced inspections concept in Texas,” said Brian Heath, CEO of Drivewyze. “Autonomous vehicles represent a significant change to roadside enforcement, and we are proud to support Texas DPS and Kodiak in rising to the challenge. To maximize future adoption, it is important that state agencies continue to leverage their existing roadside systems to meet the needs of the emerging AV market.”

As part of the pilot program, Kodiak inputs the results of each enhanced inspection into the Drivewyze system, which transmits a Safety Data Message Set to roadside enforcement officials in Texas at participating inspection sites. The program demonstrates a solution to a critical hurdle in the commercial deployment of autonomous trucks, according to Kodiak CEO and founder Don Burnette. 

See also: CVSA approves new inspection regime for autonomous trucks

“Traditional roadside inspections rely on assistance from the driver, and a common question we get is how autonomous trucks will handle highway weigh station inspections,” Burnette said. “This program shows how law enforcement and autonomous vehicle developers can partner to ensure extremely high safety and maintenance standards for self-driving trucks. We are thankful to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and Drivewyze for demonstrating that the recently developed commercial vehicle inspections solution for autonomous trucks can be implemented using existing frameworks and infrastructure.”

The Texas-based pilot program is expected to serve as a model for other states as autonomous trucks become commercially available nationwide. Kodiak is working with regulators and Drivewyze to expand the pilot program to other states.

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