Self-driving truck company Kodiak Robotics and Ikea Supply Chain Operations have announced a collaboration that involves the duo piloting autonomous freight deliveries in Texas.
The pair’s cooperative pilot project, which began on August 8, 2022, involves a Kodiak autonomous heavy-duty truck carrying Ikea products seven days a week between the Ikea Distribution Center in Baytown and an Ikea store in Frisco. The autonomous truck has a professional safety driver behind the wheel who is responsible for collecting a loaded trailer from the distribution center and overseeing its autonomous delivery to the store by the end of the working day.
The main purpose of the project is to gain knowledge on how Kodiak’s autonomous driving technology contributes to better road safety and working conditions for truck drivers who conduct long-distance operations.
“We are proud to be working with Kodiak to achieve our ambitious goals of being at the forefront of innovation and building capabilities for future transportation,” said Dariusz Mroczek, category area transport manager at Ikea Supply Chain Operations. “Kodiak’s technology will contribute toward our objective to put the driver in focus in the transition toward automated transportation and our road safety agenda.”
“Ikea and Kodiak share a commitment to putting safety first,” added Don Burnette, founder and CEO of Kodiak Robotics. “Together we can enhance safety, improve working conditions for drivers and create a more sustainable freight transportation system. Adopting autonomous trucking technology can improve drivers’ quality of life by focusing on the local driving jobs most prefer to do. We look forward to working with the Ikea carrier partners to bring these benefits to the Ikea supply chain.”