On Thursday, autonomous truck tech company Kodiak Robotics, Inc. announced a partnership with C.R. England to haul freight for Tyson Foods in Texas as part of a pilot program.
Starting this month, Kodiak’s self-driving trucks and C.R. England’s refrigerated trailers will haul Tyson Foods loads between Dallas and San Antonio, Texas.
The companies will haul three to five loads per week as part of the pilot, Tech Crunch reports.
A human safety driver will remain in the trucks “in the initial stages of the pilot,” the companies said in a joint press release.
As part of the partnership, C.R. England will enter into Kodiak’s Partner Deployment Program, which helps carriers establish autonomous freight operations.
“One of the categories where C.R. England is a leader is in perishable foods, which require the safest, most reliable, on-time delivery possible. Kodiak’s proven performance and commitment to customer success makes it a great partner to help us introduce autonomous service into our operations,” said Chad England, CEO, C.R. England. “Working with Kodiak enables us to better understand how autonomous vehicles fit into our fleet of the future, while continuing to deliver high quality service and value to great customers like Tyson. By employing self-driving trucks, we can increase capacity and expedite deliveries without sacrificing customer service, as our valued drivers will take over to interface with customers and consignees at either end of the load. Our intent is to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for customers, whether they need their freight moved autonomously or not.”
“C.R. England’s extensive premium service network provides the ideal scenario for the introduction of autonomous trucks,” said Don Burnette, Founder and CEO, Kodiak. “The potential benefits of Kodiak’s technology are far-reaching—for shippers whose reputations are built on the freshness of their products, to end consumers who rely on companies like Tyson Foods to provide products they can trust. Our partnership with C.R. England will clearly demonstrate our value proposition of increasing safety, efficiency and reliability for Tyson Foods and the entire supply chain.”