CEVA Logistics and Kodiak Robotics Inc. yesterday said that they have teamed up to deliver freight autonomously between Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin, Texas, and between Dallas-Fort Worth and Oklahoma City. The companies claimed that they are the first to do so in the state of Oklahoma.
“CEVA is committed to working alongside leading automation and robotics suppliers—like Kodiak with its proven autonomy technologies—to unlock value for our customers' supply chain operations,” stated Shawn Stewart, president and managing director for North America at CEVA Logistics. “Our partnership with Kodiak will deliver more business value to our customers, especially in light of the current supply chain crisis and the ongoing driver shortage.”
Marseille, France-based CEVA, part of CMA CGM Group, provides transportation and supply chain services for midsize and large companies worldwide. The third-party logistics (3PL) provider, whose U.S. headquarters are in Jacksonville, Fla., has about 78,000 employees and 1,000 facilities in more than 160 countries.
The company has more than 2,449 drivers in its North American fleet. CEVA said it has experience integrating automation and robotics into both its contract logistics and freight management operations to alleviate strain on its existing workforce. It has worked with Körber Supply Chain, Geek+, Berkshire Grey, and Locus Robotics.
Kodiak Driver designed to improve logistics
Founded in 2018, Kodiak Robotics said its self-driving technology stack is designed to make long-haul trucking safer and more efficient. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company in November 2021 raised $125 million in Series B funding.
Kodiak said its systems can also reduce costs and emissions and enhance truck drivers' quality of life. Its modular hardware approach integrates sensors into a streamlined sensor-pod structure that is optimized for perception, scalability, and maintainability.
The Kodiak Driver incorporates Luminar's Iris lidar, ZF full-range radar, Hesai 360-degree scanning lidars, and a range of cameras to capture and process hundreds of megabytes of perception data each second. These sensors allow the truck to “see” long range and all around the vehicle in a wide variety of weather conditions. This enables safe operation at highway speeds, Kodiak claimed.
Kodiak Robotics has been delivering freight daily between Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston since mid-2019. Since mid-2021, the startup has been delivering freight weekly between Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio, operating autonomously on the highway portions of the routes.
CEVA moves goods weekly with self-driving trucks
CEVA Logistics and Kodiak Robotics said their partnership is a critical step toward their long-term goal of integrating Kodiak's technology into CEVA's North American truck fleet.
CEVA delivered its first load with Kodiak in November 2021. The company is now moving goods weekly on the 200-mile freight lane between Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin, Texas.
The companies expanded the partnership in February 2022 with a new route between Dallas-Fort Worth and Oklahoma City on the Interstate 35 corridor. This route runs 200 miles between a CEVA facility in Dallas and the delivery point in Oklahoma City. On both routes, a Kodiak autonomous tractor pulls a CEVA trailer filled with consumer products.
Oklahoma's senate this week passed a bill to allow fully autonomous vehicles to operate on public roads without a human safety driver.
“CEVA is at the forefront of global logistics innovation and has recognized early on that the trucking industry will see the first widespread adoption of self-driving technology,” said Don Burnette, founder and CEO, of Kodiak. “Kodiak and CEVA are focused on serving Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and Oklahoma City, because they cover some of the richest freight corridors in the U.S.”
“As Americans grapple with pandemic-related supply-chain issues and the long-term truck driver shortage, CEVA is leading the industry in adopting new technology that will benefit its customers,” he added.
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