Kodiak Robotics is touting one of its latest breakthroughs in autonomous trucking technology: withstanding a tire blowout and bringing a tractor and trailer to a safe stop.
The company published a video Nov. 10 that it said demonstrates how trucks equipped with its self-driving technology “can maintain complete control of the truck when it suffers a catastrophic tire blowout,” according to a news release.
Building off of earlier work testing how the truck responded to deflated tires, Kodiak performed a series of eight tests to show its autonomous system could instantly counter the force of a tire blowout, spokesperson Dan Goff said in an email. The testing involved a truck moving at about 35 mph when it struck a spike.
According to Kodiak, its autonomous system can immediately detect the tire fault, initiate a fallback protocol, trigger hazard lights to turn on and bring the truck to a stop within the lane. Another video showed the truck hitting the spike and coming to a stop, showing the length of the process and deviation from the centerline.
While the AV startup can’t control the hazards its trucks will face on the open road, it can control how trucks behave in critical situations, Kodiak co-founder and CEO Don Burnette said in a statement.
Kodiak isn’t the only company reaching new milestones in autonomous trucking technology.
In July, Aurora reported that its technology could safely pull over on a public road at highway speeds without any human involvement detecting system issues, such as for damaged sensors.
“Any of a number of factors, from blown tires to damaged sensors, can compromise a vehicle while on the road,” Sterling Anderson, Aurora co-founder and chief product officer, said in a news release. “Our Fault Management System lays the groundwork for safe autonomous operations without vehicle operators, chase vehicles, or remote human fallback systems.”