Maersk and Kodiak Robotics announced that the two companies have launched what they said is the first commercial autonomous trucking lane between Houston and Oklahoma City.
The freight lane marks an expansion of the collaboration between Kodiak and Maersk, which began with their first autonomous freight deliveries together in November 2022 as part of Maersk’s Global Innovation Center Program.
Kodiak has been delivering eight loads per week, in tractor-trailers using its autonomous vehicle control technology for Maersk customers since August. A safety driver is present in the truck at all times, Kodiak noted.
“Teaming with Kodiak enables Maersk to stay at the forefront of innovative solutions,” said Erez Agmoni, Maersk’s global head of innovation - logistics & services.
“Autonomous trucks will play an instrumental role in digitizing the supply chain. We expect self-driving trucks to ultimately become a competitive advantage for Maersk as we execute on our strategy to provide customers with a sustainable, end-to-end logistics solution across air, land and sea.”
Kodiak and Maersk are completing four round trips per week on a 24-hour-a-day, four-day-a-week basis between a Houston facility, where consumer products are loaded onto 53-foot trailers, to a distribution center in Oklahoma City.
Operational learnings gained from the activity are captured and documented as part of the Kodiak Partner Deployment Program, which is designed to help companies learn how Kodiak’s self-driving trucks can become an integral part of their overall logistics strategy and offerings.
A Collaborative Study of All-New Freight Efficiencies
“Since our founding, we have focused on developing an autonomous product that is easy for global innovation leaders to integrate into their networks, and Maersk is a perfect fit,” said Don Burnette, founder and CEO, Kodiak.
“Hauling commercial freight gives us the opportunity to work together to integrate Kodiak’s autonomous trucking solution into Maersk’s operations. We are demonstrating our team’s ability to introduce new lanes and bring new efficiencies to the entire logistics industry.”
Maersk and Kodiak will continue to explore future avenues for collaboration across Maersk’s growing North American logistics network, the companies added.
For Kodiak, safety and performance are foundational to its autonomous trucking solution, the company said. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 94% of crashes occur due to human error.
To boost highway safety, each Kodiak autonomous vehicle is equipped with 18 different sensors, including cameras, radar, and lidar, that provide the platform with a 360-degree view around the truck. Every tenth of a second, the truck evaluates the performance of more than 1,000 safety-critical processes and components in both the self-driving stack and the underlying truck platform. The trucks learn in parallel, with system upgrades shared to the entire fleet simultaneously, and are not subject to environmental distractions.