The cooperation, which began on Aug. 8, includes a Kodiak autonomous heavy-duty truck transporting IKEA products seven days a week between the IKEA Distribution Center in Baytown, Texas and the IKEA Store in Frisco, Texas, according to a news release.
“The primary purpose of cooperation between the two is to get a better understanding of how Kodiak’s autonomous driving technology contributes to increased road safety and better working conditions for truck drivers on the longer distances,” the news release stated.
The self-driving truck has a professional safety truck driver behind the wheel who picks up a loaded trailer at the distribution center each morning and oversees the autonomous delivery to the store by late afternoon.
“We are proud to be working with Kodiak to achieve our ambitious goals of being at the forefront of innovation and building capabilities for future transportation,” Category Area Transport Manager of IKEA Supply Chain Operations Dariusz Mroczek said. “Kodiak’s technology will contribute towards our objective to put the driver in focus in the transition towards automated transportation and towards our road safety agenda.”
Autonomous trucks are also more fuel-efficient, according to a study from the University of California San Diego, which estimated that self-driving trucks consume roughly 10% less fuel than traditional manually driven trucks on diesel-fueled fleets.
“IKEA and Kodiak share a commitment to putting safety first,” founder and CEO of Kodiak Robotics Don Burnette said. “Together we can enhance safety, improve working conditions for drivers, and create a more sustainable freight transportation system. Adopting autonomous trucking technology can improve drivers’ quality of life by focusing on the local driving jobs most prefer to do. We look forward to working with the IKEA carrier partners to bring these benefits to the IKEA supply chain.”
Kodiak has been delivering freight daily between Dallas to Houston since mid-2019 and delivering freight between Dallas and San Antonio since mid-2021.
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