Kodiak Robotics and Pilot Company, which among other things operates travel centers in North America, have announced the opening of their inaugural truckport designed for autonomous trucks.
The facility, located at the Pilot Travel Center in Villa Rica, Georgia, will be used by Kodiak to launch and land autonomous trucks. The facility will also serve as a hub for drivers to pick up and drop off first- and last-mile deliveries.
The Villa Rica truckport will support Kodiak’s 18,000-mile-long autonomous deployment network, which the company claims is the industry’s largest and most robust set of mapped routes for self-driving trucks.
“Partnering with Pilot Company to build the Villa Rica truckport ensures that we have access to the truckport services we need, utilizing Pilot’s industry-leading travel center network,” said Don Burnette, founder and CEO of Kodiak Robotics, in a release.
“This partnership, combined with Kodiak’s flexible technology stack, enables our scalable, asset-light approach to building our truckport network. The freight lane between Dallas and Atlanta is critical to the nation’s supply chain and economy, and this truckport enables us to refine our operations model as we continue to grow.”
Expanding Autonomous Trucks into the Southeast
The new truckport will serve as an eastern satellite hub for Kodiak’s network, while the company’s Dallas-Fort Worth hub will continue to serve as the main terminal for its autonomous truck fleet.
The new facility will serve as a model for future Kodiak truckports, which are designed to be highly scalable due to lean infrastructure requirements.
Additional services at the truckport will include refueling at the Pilot Travel Center, light maintenance, and pre-trip inspections, including Enhanced Inspections specifically designed for self-driving trucks.
“Pilot Company rigorously tests ways to integrate new technologies, including autonomous trucks, to maintain our safety-first focus and continue fueling the trucking industry,” said Brandon Trama, director of strategy and business development, Pilot Company.
“Working with Kodiak aligns with our emphasis on improving the quality of life for professional drivers. Autonomous trucks focus on the long, repeatable highway miles, leaving the more enticing local, first- and last-mile deliveries for professional drivers who can stay closer to home.”
In August 2022, Pilot announced that it had made a strategic investment in Kodiak and joined its board of directors. Kodiak and Pilot are exploring further expansion within Pilot’s national travel center network.