- Kodiak Robots is partnering with Ryder System as it looks to launch autonomous trucks without human operators this year.
- The pair opened a truckport in Houston in December, which serves as their first facility and a connection hub servicing routes to Dallas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, according to a news release.
- The companies suggested on-site technician and maintenance services could be added to the facility, and they envision more truckports together.
Multiple AV companies aim to remove safety operators from trucks this year to become truly autonomous, signaling a major turning point for the industry.
The Houston truckport for Kodiak will launch the tech company’s first driverless operation, using its Dallas-Houston route. The company has already been testing its trucks with humans onboard and delivering commercial freight in Texas and other states.
In Houston, Ryder’s existing fleet maintenance facility is getting added value and signals how the transportation and supply chain provider could utilize similar properties.
“Ryder’s industry-leading fleet services and vast footprint of service locations makes it an ideal partner as we scale autonomous trucks,” said Don Burnette, co-founder and CEO of Kodiak.
The collaboration also adds to the company’s build-out of partnerships, which includes developing autonomous truck services with Pilot Co. at Pilot and Flying J travel centers. In August, Pilot and Kodiak announced the opening of a truckport in Villa Rica, Georgia, which was their first facility.
But competition is fierce. Last spring, Aurora Innovation announced the debut of a truckport in Palmer, Texas, with testing there rapidly accelerating.