Ryder, Kodiak Robotics open truckport for autonomous trucks in Houston

Kodiak’s first freight transfer point at a Ryder facility enables planned deployment of driverless trucks to and from Houston

Ryder System

A Kodiak autonomous Class 8 tractor-trailer parks outside of a Ryder fleet maintenance facility in the Houston area.
Ryder and Kodiak Robotics teamed up to open a truckport for autonomous trucks in Houston as the organizations prepare to roll out driverless vehicles in 2024.

Ryder System, a supply chain, dedicated transportation and fleet management solutions company, and Kodiak Robotics, an autonomous trucking company, recently announced a collaboration to leverage Ryder’s service network to enable the commercialization and scaling of Kodiak’s autonomous truck solution.

In December, Kodiak and Ryder established their first truckport in Houston, strategically-located at an existing Ryder fleet maintenance facility. The truckport enables Kodiak to launch and land autonomous trucks as well as transfer freight to serve routes between Houston, Dallas and Oklahoma City.

Organizations plan to expand beyond Houston

While the collaboration initially focuses on the establishment of Kodiak’s Houston facility, the companies see opportunity to leverage Ryder’s extensive service network to support additional truckport operations and to provide on-site technician and maintenance services.

“Ryder’s vision is to build out a portfolio of key service elements that support the safe deployment and maintenance of autonomous trucks,” says Karen Jones, EVP, CMO and head of new product development at Ryder. “By managing the unique logistics of autonomous operations as well as the servicing needs of autonomous trucks, we continue to build on our expertise. And by collaborating with leaders in the space like Kodiak, we advance our shared goal of facilitating the commercialization of autonomous technology.”

First driverless trucks coming to American Midwest in 2024

Today, Kodiak trucks operate all routes with safety drivers, including its Houston-Dallas and Houston-Oklahoma City routes. The autonomous trucking company plans to introduce its first driverless operations along its Dallas-Houston route later this year, using the Ryder facility as a launch point.

“Ryder’s industry-leading fleet services and vast footprint of service locations makes it an ideal partner as we scale autonomous trucks,” said Don Burnette, founder and CEO of Kodiak. “Expanding our network of truckports with Ryder will enable us to operate autonomous trucks at scale with our customers. Our goal is to build the elements we need for driverless operations, and having this Houston location up and running is a critical component of that plan.”

In April 2023, Kodiak Robotics introduced its fifth-generation hardware in its autonomous truck fleet. The update increased sensor redundancy and GPU processing power.

“The Ryder facility will serve as a base to conduct testing and to validate the truckport operational model,” Burnette added. “Leveraging existing infrastructure eliminates the need for Kodiak to build and develop real estate, and it allows us to focus on launching and scaling driverless truck deployment.”

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Ryder System

A Kodiak autonomous Class 8 tractor-trailer parks outside of a Ryder fleet maintenance facility in the Houston area.

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