‘Inevitable actuality’: Werner forges forward with new AV partnership

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Dive Temporary:

  • Kodiak Robotics will accomplice with Werner Enterprises to create an autonomous trucking lane, the tech startup introduced Thursday.
  • The collaboration started with a week-long pilot program in August, the place a Kodiak truck accomplished eight totally different journeys between Dallas and Lake Metropolis, Florida, in line with the information launch.
  • The runs took 152 of drive time and met 100% on-time deliveries, in line with Kodiak. Werner used trailers on each ends of the runs to facilitate first-mile pickups and last-mile deliveries.

Dive Perception:

The deal is Werner’s second AV accomplice pilot introduced in latest months, as extra autonomous startups look to work with carriers and transfer in direction of commercialization.

Earlier this yr, the service launched a pilot with Aurora Innovation to check hauling freight with autonomous vans in 600-plus mile routes in Texas. And final yr, Werner introduced an fairness funding in autonomous tech firm TuSimple.

“On the autonomous facet, we’re nonetheless a couple of years away from even marginal impacts across the edges,” Werner Chairman, President and CEO Derek Leathers stated final month on its Q2 earnings name. “However my view on it’s, right this moment is the day, and every single day as we go ahead, is after we should be making ready for the inevitable actuality that issues are going to alter. And what we’ll do is keep related.”

Werner isn’t alone in its pondering. Simply this month, Schneider Nationwide introduced a brand new partnership with Torc Robotics to check the startup’s autonomous fleet, and Locomation signed a cope with Stevens Trucking to equip as much as 500 of its vans with its AV know-how.

Along with the pilot program, Werner additionally “joined Kodiak’s Companion Deployment Program, which helps carriers set up autonomous freight operations and seamlessly combine the Kodiak Driver, Kodiak’s self-driving system, into their fleet,” the information launch stated.

“The Kodiak Driver is designed to do the often-undesirable freeway parts of long-haul routes, permitting drivers to deal with the deliveries that allow them sleep in their very own beds at night time,” Kodiak co-founder and CEO Don Burnette stated within the launch. “We stay up for persevering with our collaboration with Werner and introducing new everlasting lanes collectively.”

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