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Pilot announces plans to bring ‘self-driving truck services’ to Pilot and Flying J truck stops

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On Tuesday, the Pilot Company announced a major partnership with an autonomous truck technology company to develop new services for self-driving vehicles at truck stops.

In the August 23 announcement, Pilot said that it has entered into a partnership with Kodiak Robotics, Inc. “to develop autonomous truck services at Pilot and Flying J travel centers.”

As part of the partnership, Kodiak and Pilot have begun work on an “autonomous truckport” in the Atlanta area “to evaluate potential service offerings and explore scalable solutions.”

Pilot says that these services will include spaces to pick-up and drop-off autonomous trucking loads; conduct inspections; maintain and refuel trucks; and the ability to transfer data for processing, such as feature development and mapping. 

“Combining Pilot Company’s nationwide network of travel centers and services with Kodiak’s technology will play a crucial role in the deployment of autonomous trucks. Kodiak will lend its expertise as Pilot Company looks to integrate autonomous truck services into its operations. The partnership will further define service and maintenance requirements, operational necessities, facilities planning, and more to meet the needs of autonomous trucks,” Pilot Company said in a news release.

As part of the partnership, Pilot Company has made a strategic investment in Kodiak and will join Kodiak’s Board of Directors.

“Pilot Company is committed to providing best in class service to its customers today and going forward,” said John Tully, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Pilot Company. “In making this strategic investment, we understand that our customers have a need for real solutions that help address the growing demand to move goods and Kodiak is a strong leader in the autonomous trucking space. As we explore the future of autonomous trucks and how we can best support these customers, we will continue to be the travel center network that the trucking industry and professional drivers can count on for the services and care they need.”

“Pilot Company’s industry-leading network of highway-adjacent travel centers provides unprecedented geographic reach for the launch and scale of Kodiak’s fast-growing network of autonomous trucking lanes,” said Don Burnette, Founder and CEO of Kodiak Robotics. “Their customer first approach, with a focus on technology, scale, and infrastructure, makes Pilot Company an ideal partner to support the service and maintenance of self-driving trucks nationwide. We are honored to have Pilot Company as an investor, strategic partner, and supporter of our continued commercial footprint growth.”

In 2022, Kodiak announced a new autonomous trucking route between Dallas and Oklahoma City in partnership with CEVA Logistics and a route between Dallas and Atlanta in partnership with U.S. Xpress.

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