Werner working with Kodiak on autonomous truck lane

by Today's Trucking

Werner Enterprises is working with Kodiak Robotics to test self-driving trucks on a lane between Dallas, Texas, and Lake City, Fla.

The trucks completed four trips, with a human safety driver, in an August trial. Kodiak says the demonstration showcases the ability to set up an autonomous trucking lane using a hub model.

Kodiak truck with Werner
(Photo: Kodiak Robotics)

“Working with Kodiak enables us to efficiently incorporate new technologies into our business while giving us a competitive edge,” said Werner’s senior vice-president of van/expedited, Chad Dittberner. “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.”

The autonomous trucks met a 100% on-time delivery performance, with Werner trailers ready for pickup on both ends of the trip. Local drivers completed the first- and last-mile segments. “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, founder and CEO, Kodiak. “The Kodiak Driver is designed to do the often-undesirable highway portions of longhaul 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.”

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