- Kodiak Robotics began testing the autonomous supply of Ikea merchandise in Texas seven days every week, the businesses introduced Tuesday. The three-month partnership started Aug. 8 and ends Nov. 8.
- With the partnership, a driver picks up a loaded trailer and rides together with a self-driving truck. Each day hauls begin close to Houston at an Ikea distribution middle in Baytown and finish by Dallas at a Frisco retailer within the afternoon.
- The pilot helps Ikea consider probably scaling automated vans with its provider companions. Kodiak advised Transport Dive in an e-mail that the businesses are at the moment discussing an extended settlement.
Kodiak and Ikea Provide started speaking about autonomous trucking far earlier than the pilot: In 2019, the 2 corporations linked to debate the potential for autonomous vans within the U.S., Press Officer Margareta Lantz at Ikea stated in an e-mail.
Since then, the know-how has continued to develop, making the pilot attainable.
AV corporations, shippers and trucking corporations alike at the moment are testing the know-how in real-world eventualities, evaluating it for security and on-time supply charges. This yr alone, Kodiak has signed partnerships with corporations akin to 10 Roads Specific and Werner Enterprises. Its opponents Waymo and Torc Robotics have additionally pursued partnerships with the likes of Schneider Nationwide and J.B. Hunt.
If the exams succeed, AV and trucking corporations say it might result in important workforce shifts, akin to shifting drivers to extra native routes over long-haul ones.
“Collectively we are able to improve security, enhance working situations for drivers, and create a extra sustainable freight transportation system,” Kodiak founder and CEO Don Burnette stated within the information launch. “Adopting autonomous trucking know-how can enhance drivers’ high quality of life by specializing in the native driving jobs most desire to do.”
The partnership entails the retailer as a paying buyer to the tech firm, a Kodiak consultant advised Transport Dive in an e-mail.
The pilot is already displaying ends in security and on-time deliveries and it’ll additional consider gas financial savings, a driver’s impression of working situations, highway security, close to misses and avoidance of accidents, Lantz wrote.
The trials come at a time when carriers face continued challenges with hiring drivers. However trucking corporations aren’t the one ones noting how autonomous vans might assist enhance labor points: Lantz stated that autonomous routes supply alternatives with localized routes, a distinction to long-haul distances that require drivers to spend nights on the highway away from household and family members.
“We don’t have all of the solutions as to how the business will remodel,” Lantz wrote. “Autonomous automobiles could possibly be key to satisfy this imbalance to transition the transport business to a lovely office sooner or later, attracting a range of individuals, and providing alternatives for progress, profession growth, and work-life steadiness.”