Ryder System and autonomous trucking firm Kodiak are partnering to use Ryder’s service network as truckports for autonomous trucking deliveries and service.
The companies opened their first truckport in December, allowing Kodiak to run autonomous trucks between Houston, Dallas and Oklahoma City. The Ryder truckport is used to transfer freight and
Ryder will also provide on-site technician and maintenance services on the trucks.
“Ryder’s vision is to build out a portfolio of key service elements that support the safe deployment and maintenance of autonomous trucks,” says Karen Jones, executive vice-president, chief marketing officer, and head of new product development at Ryder.
“By managing the unique logistics of autonomous operations as well as the servicing needs of autonomous trucks, we continue to build on our expertise. And by collaborating with leaders in the space like Kodiak, we advance our shared goal of facilitating the commercialization of autonomous technology.”
Kodiak currently runs its autonomous trucks with safety drivers in the cab, but plans to go driverless between Dallas and Houston later this year. Ryder’s Houston facility will serve as a launch point.
“Ryder’s industry-leading fleet services and vast footprint of service locations makes it an ideal partner as we scale autonomous trucks,” said Don Burnette, founder and CEO of Kodiak.
“Expanding our network of truckports with Ryder will enable us to operate autonomous trucks at scale with our customers. Our goal is to build the elements we need for driverless operations, and having this Houston location up and running is a critical component of that plan. The Ryder facility will serve as a base to conduct testing and to validate the truckport operational model. Leveraging existing infrastructure eliminates the need for Kodiak to build and develop real estate, and it allows us to focus on launching and scaling driverless truck deployment.”
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