A partnership between Kodiak and Pilot will explore how to meet the operational needs of...

A partnership between Kodiak and Pilot will explore how to meet the operational needs of self-driving trucks.

Photo: Kodiak/Pilot

Pilot Company and Kodiak Robotics are creating an autonomous “truckport” in the Atlanta area to evaluate how Pilot and Flying J travel centers can provide services for self-driving trucks.

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.

As part of the new strategic partnership, Pilot Company has made a strategic investment in Kodiak and will join the company’s board of directors.

In an announcement, the two companies said that combining Pilot Company's nationwide network of travel centers and services with Kodiak's technology will 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.

Kodiak in 2022 has been working to significantly expand its service footprint and partner network. In July, the company announced a partnership with 10 Roads Express, a provider of time-sensitive surface transportation for the U.S. Postal Service, expanding the company's service to Florida. Earlier this year, Kodiak announced a new route between Dallas and Oklahoma City with CEVA Logistics and a route between Dallas and Atlanta with U.S. Xpress. The company has been delivering freight commercially since 2019 and currently has six routes that run regularly between Dallas and Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Atlanta, Oklahoma City and Jacksonville, Florida. 

The Pilot and Flying J travel center network includes more than 750 locations in 44 states and six Canadian provinces with more than 790 restaurants, 75,000 truck parking spaces, 5,300 deluxe showers, 6,200 diesel lanes, and offers truck maintenance and tire service with Southern Tire Mart at Pilot Flying J.