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Pilot opens first self-driving truck terminal in Georgia

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On Thursday, self-driving truck company Kodiak Robotics Inc. and the Pilot Company announced the opening of the first ‘truckport’ designed to support self-driving commercial vehicles in Georgia.

The new truckport is located at an existing Pilot truck stop located in Villa Rica, Georgia. Services available at the truckport will include “refueling at the Pilot Travel Center, light maintenance, and pre-trip inspections, including Enhanced Inspections specifically designed for self-driving trucks.” The facility will also allow drivers a spot to pick up or drop off first and last mile deliveries.

The companies say that the facility will be “a model for future Kodiak truckports” and will be used to help Kodiak “launch and land” autonomous trucks.

Kodiak says that the Villa Rica truckport will operate as an eastern satellite hub, but the Dallas-Fort Worth facility will continue to operate as the main terminal for the company’s self-driving fleet.

Kodiak and Pilot announced a partnership in August 2022, with Pilot strategically investing in Kodiak and joining the Board of Directors.

“Partnering with Pilot Company to build the Villa Rica truckport ensures that we have access to the truckport services we need, utilizing Pilot’s industry-leading travel center network,” said Don Burnette, founder and CEO of Kodiak Robotics. “This partnership, combined with Kodiak’s flexible technology stack, enables our scalable, asset-light approach to building our truckport network. The freight lane between Dallas and Atlanta is critical to the nation’s supply chain and economy, and this truckport enables us to refine our operations model as we continue to grow.”

“Pilot Company rigorously tests ways to integrate new technologies, including autonomous trucks, to maintain our safety-first focus and continue fueling the trucking industry,” said Brandon Trama, director of strategy and business development at Pilot Company. “Working with Kodiak aligns with our emphasis on improving the quality of life for professional drivers. Autonomous trucks focus on the long, repeatable highway miles, leaving the more enticing local, first- and last-mile deliveries for professional drivers who can stay closer to home.”

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