Kodiak Robotics
Kodiak Robotics' self-driving truck technology is hauling refrigerated food service supplies for Martin Brower's fast food customers between Dallas and Oklahoma City.

Kodiak’s self-driving trucks join Martin Brower’s fast-food supply chain

Feb. 29, 2024
Martin Brower and Kodiak use autonomous trucks to haul refrigerated restaurant food between Dallas and Oklahoma City eight times per week. The companies, which started working together in 2022, are eyeing future supply chain expansion opportunities.

Kodiak Robotics’ autonomous trucks are now hauling refrigerated freight for fast food restaurants between Dallas and Oklahoma City for the Martin-Brower Co. Expanding on a pilot program that began in 2022, the companies announced the partnership on Feb. 29 as Kodiak scales up its self-driving fleet offerings in advance of plans to remove safety operators from the cab later this year. 

“Hauling food with perishable goods is a really good use case for autonomous trucks because the benefits of reliable, on-time, and safe delivery, not having any spoilage because of delays is super important,” Michael Wiesinger, Kodiak's VP of commercialization, told FleetOwner. 

Kodiak also works with other reefer-focused fleets, such as C.R. England and Tyson Foods. On the food service runs with Kodiak, Martin Brower will use its reefer trailers, which are equipped with temperature monitoring systems. Martin Brower's dispatch center will monitor the loads.

See also: Kodiak launches next autonomous truckport at Ryder facility in Texas

“We are building a set of really strong partners that we want to go to market with,” Wiesinger said. “We are really focusing on who has the right vision, who has the right strategy.”

McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, and Chipotle are among the restaurants that Martin Brower serves. Kodiak’s fleet of self-driving trucks delivers refrigerated freight eight times per week between Dallas and Oklahoma City. Since the companies began working together in July 2022, Kodiak has completed more than 600 autonomous deliveries for Martin Brower. Kodiak and Martin Brower are also exploring ways to expand their commercial operations across the Martin Brower network.

The Martin Brower operations fit in well with Kodiak’s AV model that includes self-driving operations for the middle-mile, long-haul segment that is transferred to and from local, human-driven operations for the first- and last-mile operations.  

Martin Brower calls it a “shuttle lane,” where autonomous trucks haul full trailers between significant hubs and local drivers distribute goods to multiple restaurants. The companies are exploring additional shuttle lane opportunities to optimize Martin Brower’s network. 

“We chose Kodiak because we share a mutual commitment to safety and customer service,” said Mark Grittner, Martin Brower’s director of global capital, fleet, and facilities. “By working together, we are able to benefit from the safety, reliability, and efficiency provided by Kodiak’s autonomous technology while also ensuring our local drivers can continue to provide the best-in-class customer service that is foundational to Martin Brower’s reputation.” 

As part of the partnership, Martin Brower has joined the Kodiak Partner Deployment Program, which helps carriers establish autonomous freight operations and seamlessly integrate the Kodiak Driver, Kodiak's self-driving system, into their fleet. 

“Your next order of fries may have traveled on a Kodiak truck,” added Don Burnette, Kodiak founder and CEO. “Autonomous trucks are well-suited to the difficult work of long-haul driving, while allowing our partners’ local drivers to handle last-mile deliveries and provide a personal touch for customers. Martin Brower’s shuttle lane model is an ideal application for Kodiak that enables us to demonstrate the value of our technology within our customers’ existing networks.”

About the Author

Josh Fisher | Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Josh Fisher has been with FleetOwner since 2017, covering everything from modern fleet management to operational efficiency, artificial intelligence, autonomous trucking, regulations, and emerging transportation technology. He is based in Maryland. 

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