Kodiak Robotics announced it has partnered with South Korea-based SK to bring Kodiak’s autonomous truck technology to the Asia-Pacific market.
Under the partnership, SK will sell and distribute Kodiak’s “self-driving” technology in Korea and China. In addition, the companies will work together to provide fleet management services for customers in Asia.
SK’s network of companies has deep roots in numerous industries from trucking telematics to shipping to semiconductors, Kodiak officials said in a press release.
Kodiak will look to leverage SK’s products, components and technology for its autonomous system, including artificial intelligence microprocessors and advanced emergency braking systems.
“SK has an impressive list of companies that enables and fast-tracks our Asian expansion,” said Don Burnette, Kodiak’s co-founder and CEO. “Our technology paired with SK’s deep relationships with Asia’s leading logistics and technology partners offers Kodiak a unique opportunity to expand our global footprint and commercialize the Kodiak Driver across the Asia-Pacific region.”
The partnership marks a significant milestone for the Kodiak as it works towards international expansion. Asia represents a $1.5 trillion freight market, making this a key opportunity for Kodiak’s international operations, company officials said.
“Our partnership with Kodiak will help accelerate the commercialization of self-driving trucks in Asia,” said SK Executive Vice President Jungho Shin.
Kodiak is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with a testing and operations hub located in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.
Kodiak is currently validating its system by hauling daily customer freight between Dallas and Houston. The company aims to build the world’s most efficient, reliable and respected end-to-end delivery solution, Kodiak officials said.
This partnership with SK comes on the heels of an announcement with the U.S. Air Force for a contract to bring autonomous transportation to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Dover Air Force base in Delaware.
Kodiak isn’t the first autonomous trucking company to expand to Asia. Earlier this month, Plus announced it will power First Auto Works’ flagship product in China. Starting later this year, Plus will begin mass production of the FAW J7L3, which was jointly developed by Plus and FAW.
Plus also is working with some of the largest fleets in China to pilot commercial freight operations, as well as working with Iveco to jointly develop autonomous trucks that will be deployed across China, Europe and other geographies.