Werner Enterprises and Kodiak Robotics partner for long-haul autonomous freight operations

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Self-driving truck business Kodiak Robotics and transportation and logistics provider Werner Enterprises have formed a collaboration through which they will establish an autonomous trucking lane to showcase how autonomous trucks can be used efficiently within a transfer hub model at truck ports.

The partnership began in August 2022 when the duo conducted a pilot program using a Kodiak truck. Over a one-week period the truck carried out four tours which consisted of eight trips between Dallas, Texas, and Lake City in Florida – the truck was accompanied by a human at all times. During the pilot 152 hours of driving were completed with 100% of deliveries being on time. Trailers were readied by Werner for the Kodiak self-driving truck to pick up at either end of the journey and Werner’s drivers completed first-mile pickups and last-mile deliveries to ensure the Kodiak Driver spent the most amount of time on the road.

Additionally, Werner Enterprises has also joined Kodiak’s Partner Deployment Program, which aids carriers in establishing autonomous freight operations. The program also helps companies to integrate the Kodiak Driver and Kodiak’s self-driving system into a fleet.

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

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

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKi Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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