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Werner Enterprises and Kodiak Robotics partner to run 24/7 long-haul autonomous freight operations

Kodiak Robotics, a startup self-driving trucking company, is partnering with Werner Enterprises, a large US transportation and logistics provider, to establish an autonomous trucking lane and to showcase how efficiently autonomous trucks can be used with a transfer hub model at truckports.

The relationship commenced in August with a week-long pilot program in which a Kodiak truck, accompanied by a human safety driver at all times, completed four tours involving eight unique trips between Dallas and Lake City, Florida.

Werner Enterprises also joined Kodiak’s Partner Deployment Program, which helps carriers establish autonomous freight operations and seamlessly integrate the Kodiak Driver, Kodiak’s self-driving system, into their fleet.

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

“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.”

During its pilot with Werner, Kodiak completed a total of 152 hours of driving time and achieved 100 percent on-time delivery performance.

Werner had trailers ready for a Kodiak self-driving truck to pick up on both ends of the trip. Werner’s local drivers completed the first-mile pickups and last-mile deliveries. This truckport model maximizes the amount of time the Kodiak Driver spends driving.

Don Burnette, founder and CEO, Kodiak, says: “Werner’s vision for incorporating autonomous trucks into their future operations demonstrates a fundamental understanding of where autonomous technology fits within the trucking industry.

“The Kodiak Driver is designed to do the often-undesirable highway portions of long-haul 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.”

The joint effort with Werner Enterprises is the most recent carrier relationship to be announced by Kodiak. Earlier this year, the company announced partnerships with US Xpress, 10 Roads Express and CEVA Logistics.

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