MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. and DENVER — Self-driving trucking company Kodiak Robotics Inc. has announced plans to equip 800 self-driving big rigs for third-party capacity-as-a-service company Loadsmith in what will be the world’s first self-driving trucking firm.
According to a news release, the Kodiak-equipped autonomous trucks will serve as the foundation for the newly-established Loadsmith Freight Network (LFN).
Kodiak will begin delivering the Kodiak Driver-powered self-driving trucks in the second half of 2025, the news release noted.
The Kodiak trucks on the LFN will transport goods autonomously on the interstate portions of highway routes.
Loadsmith’s fleet of trucks equipped with the Kodiak Driver will complete the long-haul portions of Loadsmith’s deliveries, while human-driven trucks, booked on Loadsmith’s platform, will do local pickups and deliveries.
“Loadsmith is the first trucking company built specifically for autonomous trucks, and we are proud that they selected Kodiak as the backbone of their operations,” said Don Burnette, Founder and CEO of Kodiak Robotics. “Loadsmith’s Founder Brett Suma is one of trucking’s true visionaries, and now he is using his deep and unique experience to rethink logistics for the autonomous era.”
Loadsmith’s proprietary logistics platform will deploy 6,000 trailers on the LFN to maximize the utilization of the Kodiak-powered trucks on the network.
The company says that by pairing self-driving trucks and local manual trucks on the same network, they can rapidly scale autonomous deliveries and “convert significant amounts of freight volume from traditional trucking methods to a more flexible and on-demand service.”
Loadsmith officials say this model will allow shippers to seamlessly leverage autonomous trucks for the long-haul lanes that are less desirable to many drivers.
“This helps reimagine the driver’s job by creating attractive local driving opportunities and simultaneously relieving the driver shortage that continues to plague American supply chains,” the news release stated.
“Loadsmith’s partnership with Kodiak is founded on the belief that freight transportation is preparing to undergo a profound technological transformation, with autonomous middle-mile trucking leading the way,” said Brett Suma, Founder & CEO of Loadsmith. “Loadsmith’s expertise in network design and freight execution combined with Kodiak’s best-in-class autonomous trucking technology demonstrates a new model for how two companies can collaborate to usher in a new era of transportation.”
As part of the agreement, Loadsmith has joined the Kodiak Partner Deployment Program, which helps shippers and carriers establish autonomous freight operations and seamlessly integrate the Kodiak Driver into their fleets. Kodiak has recently announced partnerships with C.R. England and Tyson, IKEA, Werner, Forward and more.
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