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VIDEO: How does a self-driving truck handle a catastrophic steer tire blowout?


On Thursday, Kodiak Robotics, Inc. released a new video demonstrating how their autonomous trucks respond to a steer tire blow out.

In the video, a Kodiak Class 8 tractor drives over a test rig that punctures the driver’s side front tire while the truck’s autonomous capabilities are engaged. A safety driver remains behind the wheel during the demonstration.

Kodiak says that the tire blowout is immediately detected and that a “fallback” protocol is initiated. The company says that self-driving truck “compensates for the failed tire by applying an entirely different steering angle.” Then the truck’s hazards are automatically activated, and the truck is brought to a stop within the lane of travel.

“People ask us all the time ‘what happens if you blow a tire,’ and we wanted to showcase how the Kodiak Driver can maintain control more precisely than a traditional truck, even with a completely destroyed tire,” said Don Burnette, Founder and CEO, Kodiak Robotics. “We can’t control the hazards trucks will face on the open road, but we can control how the trucks behave when a critical situation occurs. By demonstrating that the Kodiak Driver can maintain complete control under such duress, we’re showing the world just how safe this technology is designed to be.”

Check out the video below.

In May 2022, Kodiak initially publicly demonstrated the fallback technology without the tire blowout. In that demonstration, the truck slowed and pulled off onto the shoulder rather than remaining in the active lane of traffic.


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