MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Self-driving trucking company Kodiak Robotics says it is the first company to pilot the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Enhanced Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Inspection Standard (Enhanced Inspections) program, which allows autonomous trucks to pre-clear roadside inspections.
Elements of this new program, which is designed to streamline interactions between autonomous trucks and law enforcement at fixed inspection sites, were approved by CVSA at its September 2022 board meeting, according to a news release.
Enhanced Inspections require that a CVSA-certified inspector, who has completed a 40-hour CVSA training course and passed a corresponding exam, conduct a thorough inspection of an autonomous truck combination, which is valid for a 24-hour period. Autonomous trucks then communicate the outcome of that inspection, as well as other relevant safety information, to roadside enforcement officers, the news release notes.
“Since law enforcement will have a high level of certainty about the roadworthiness of vehicles participating in the Enhanced Inspection program, autonomous trucks which follow the approved process will not be subject to routine inspections at weigh stations and other inspection sites,” according to the news release.
Kodiak is working with connected truck service Drivewyze and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to launch the initiative on Texas interstates.
As part of the pilot program, Kodiak inputs the results of each Enhanced Inspection into the Drivewyze system, which then communicates a sample Safety Data Message Set to roadside enforcement officials in Texas at participating inspection sites. The Enhanced Inspection pilot program demonstrates a solution to a critical hurdle in the commercial deployment of autonomous trucks. Kodiak is working with regulators and Drivewyze to expand the pilot program to other states.
“Traditional roadside inspections rely on assistance from the driver, and a common question we get is how autonomous trucks will handle highway weigh station inspections,” said Don Burnette, founder and CEO, Kodiak. “This program shows how law enforcement and autonomous vehicle developers can partner to ensure extremely high safety and maintenance standards for self-driving trucks. We are thankful to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and Drivewyze for demonstrating that the recently developed commercial vehicle inspections solution for autonomous trucks can be implemented using existing frameworks and infrastructure.”
Brian Heath, CEO of Drivewyze, praised Kodiak and its efforts to further autonomous trucking.
“Kodiak has always had an eye on the future, and we congratulate them on this major step forward as the first autonomous truck company to pilot the Enhanced Inspections concept in Texas,” he said. “Autonomous vehicles represent a significant change to roadside enforcement, and we are proud to support Texas DPS and Kodiak in rising to the challenge. To maximize future adoption, it is important that state agencies continue to leverage their existing roadside systems to meet the needs of the emerging autonomous vehicle market.”
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