Kodiak Robotics has demonstrated how its proprietary SensorPod hardware simplifies autonomous truck maintenance and increases truck utilization by eliminating the need for a specialized technician to replace AV sensors. As part of a technical partnership with Southern Tire Mart, the company has shown that its pre-calibrated, pre-built SensorPods, which replace the truck’s stock side-view mirrors, can be completely removed and replaced by a mechanic without specialized training.
“Every aspect of the technologies we build into our autonomous trucks is thoughtfully designed with fleet uptime, serviceability and scalability in mind,” said Don Burnette, founder and CEO, Kodiak. “We know the value Kodiak is bringing to fleets by designing SensorPods that can be easily and quickly replaced by any mechanic as simply as they can change a tire. Working with our partners at Southern Tire Mart/Southern Tire Mart at Pilot, we’re collaborating to show that this hardware approach speeds the process of maintenance and service, increases truck uptime, and clears an important hurdle to commercialization.”
Kodiak first announced its SensorPod in 2021, which incorporates one Hesai lidar, two ZF Full-Range 4D radars, and three cameras. Swapping out a SensorPod is stated to be as easy as removing and replacing the access cover and three bolts and re-connecting three cables. One cable carries power and data, while the other two provide water and compressed air for sensor self-cleaning.
“In spite of the new range of technologies incorporated into autonomous trucks, their commercialization depends on third parties’ ability to perform maintenance on them and we are thrilled to be working with Kodiak to make this a reality,” said John Boynton, president, Southern Tire Mart at Pilot. “Forging this relationship with Kodiak allowed our mechanics to learn about autonomous technology while also showcasing just how simple it truly is to replace these innovative SensorPods. Kodiak’s thoughtful approach to hardware, which takes into account the critical issue of maintenance, is exactly the kind of engineering that will carry the industry forward.”