Werner Enterprises and a leading self-driving truck technology company have partnered to establish a long-haul autonomous trucking lane.

Kodiak Robotics, Inc. and Werner announced the partnership on Thursday, September 29.

In August, the two companies conducted a week-long pilot program “in which a Kodiak truck, accompanied by a human safety driver at all times, completed four tours involving eight unique trips between Dallas and Lake City, Florida.”

During the pilot, Werner had trailers ready for a Kodiak self-driving truck to pick up at both ends of the trip. Werner truck drivers then completed the first-mile pickups and last-mile deliveries.

Using this “truckport” model, Kodiak says that it completed a total of 152 hours of driving time and achieved 100 percent on-time delivery performance.

“Working with Kodiak enables us to efficiently incorporate new technologies into our business while giving us a competitive edge,” said Werner’s Senior Vice President of Van/Expedited Chad Dittberner. “We’re eager to establish the hybrid model of drivers and ongoing autonomous lanes to create new and unparalleled levels of efficiency while staying focused on Werner’s value of putting safety first.”

“Werner’s vision for incorporating autonomous trucks into their future operations demonstrates a fundamental understanding of where autonomous technology fits within the trucking industry,” said Don Burnette, Founder and CEO, Kodiak. “The Kodiak Driver is designed to do the often-undesirable highway portions of long-haul routes, allowing drivers to handle the deliveries that let them sleep in their own beds at night. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Werner and introducing new permanent lanes together.”

Kodiak has entered into similar partnerships with other trucking companies this year, including U.S. Xpress10 Roads Express and CEVA Logistics.

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