Pilot Company, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, has announced a strategic partnership with autonomous trucking developer Kodiak Robotics. Through the partnership, Pilot Company and Kodiak will collaborate to develop autonomous truck services at Pilot and Flying J travel centers.
The two companies are in the process of creating an autonomous truckport in the Atlanta area in Georgia to evaluate potential service offerings and explore scalable solutions. These services will include spaces to pick up and drop off autonomous trucking loads; conduct inspections; maintain and refuel trucks; and the ability to transfer data for processing, such as feature development and mapping. To strengthen the ability to work together to develop a solution that works best for its customers, Pilot Company has made a strategic investment in Kodiak and will join the company’s board of directors.
“Pilot Company is committed to providing best in class service to its customers today and going forward,” said John Tully, VP of strategy and business development at Pilot Company. “In making this strategic investment, we understand that our customers have a need for real solutions that help address the growing demand to move goods and Kodiak is a strong leader in the autonomous trucking space. As we explore the future of autonomous trucks and how we can best support these customers, we will continue to be the travel center network that the trucking industry and professional drivers can count on for the services and care they need.”
Combining Pilot Company’s nationwide network of travel centers and services with Kodiak’s technology will, the companies say, play a crucial role in the deployment of autonomous trucks. Kodiak will lend its expertise as Pilot Company looks to integrate autonomous truck services into its operations. The partnership will further define service and maintenance requirements, operational necessities, facilities planning, and more to meet the needs of autonomous trucks.
“Pilot Company’s industry-leading network of highway-adjacent travel centers provides unprecedented geographic reach for the launch and scale of Kodiak’s fast-growing network of autonomous trucking lanes,” said Don Burnette, founder and CEO of Kodiak Robotics. “Their customer-first approach, with a focus on technology, scale and infrastructure, makes Pilot Company an ideal partner to support the service and maintenance of self-driving trucks nationwide. We are honored to have Pilot Company as an investor, strategic partner and supporter of our continued commercial footprint growth.”