Self-driving trucking startup Kodiak Robotics recently completed a coast-to-coast commercial run between Texas, California and Florida for the U.S. Postal Service’s 10 Roads Express. The pilot marks the first time Kodiak has provided self-driving freight service to Florida.
The freight run consisted of four commercial deliveries, a 5,600-mile round trip that began in San Antonio, traveled to San Francisco, then to Jacksonville and finally back to San Antonio. The trip took a total of 114 hours. While it is illegal to test or deploy heavy self-driving commercial trucks in California, Dan Goff, Kodiak’s head of external affairs, said Kodiak operates with a Level 2 system, or advanced driver assistance, while in California.
To bring the route online, Kodiak sent a truck on a manual run to collect data on the new area, which was then used to create the map automatically. Kodiak did not conduct any self-driving tests on the new lanes before putting them into commercial operation, proving that Kodiak can get into new lanes quickly.
During the trial, Kodiak’s autopilot system was operational more than 90 percent of the time, he said, noting that the reasons for disengagement included tricky construction areas, general driver discomfort and, in one case, a hardware failure. Earlier this year, Kodiak also partnered with global supply chain and logistics provider Ceva Logistics to autonomously deliver cargo between Dallas, Austin and Oklahoma City.