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Eight hundred trucks ordered to launch ‘world’s first’ self-driving trucking company

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On Thursday, a major self-driving truck technology company announced a new partnership to launch the “world’s first trucking company dedicated to autonomous freight transportation.

On June 22, Kodiak Robotics Inc. announced that Denver-headquartered logistics platform Loadsmith ordered 800 self-driving trucks to build the “Loadsmith Freight Network (LFN), the first-ever freight transportation company built specifically for self-driving trucks.”

The trucks will be delivered by Kodiak in the second half of 2025.

The companies say that trucks equipped with Kodiak’s self-driving technology will haul commercial freight for the long-haul, or interstate driving, portions of the trip. Then, “human driven” trucks booked on the Loadsmith platform will complete the local pickups or deliveries.

As part of the LFN plan, Loadsmith plans to strategically deploy 6000 trailers at hubs along the LFN network to maximize efficiency.

“By pairing autonomous long-haul trucks with local drivers that will rendezvous at hubs along and within the LFN, Loadsmith and Kodiak will enable shippers to move freight more efficiently, reliably, and safely,” Kodiak said in a news release.

The companies say that the LFN model will cut out “less desirable” long-haul routes for truck drivers and create more local driving opportunities: “This model will allow shippers to seamlessly leverage autonomous trucks for the long-haul lanes that are less desirable to many drivers. This helps reimagine the driver’s job by creating attractive local driving opportunities and simultaneously relieving the driver shortage that continues to plague American supply chains.

“Loadsmith is the first trucking company built specifically for autonomous trucks, and we are proud that they selected Kodiak as the backbone of their operations,” said Don Burnette, Founder and CEO of Kodiak Robotics. “Loadsmith’s Founder Brett Suma is one of trucking’s true visionaries, and now he is using his deep and unique experience to rethink logistics for the autonomous era.”

“Loadsmith’s partnership with Kodiak is founded on the belief that freight transportation is preparing to undergo a profound technological transformation, with autonomous middle-mile trucking leading the way,” said Brett Suma, Founder & CEO of Loadsmith. “Loadsmith’s expertise in network design and freight execution combined with Kodiak’s best-in-class autonomous trucking technology demonstrates a new model for how two companies can collaborate to usher in a new era of transportation.”

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