Startup Kodiak Robotics developing self-driving technology for the US Air Force and SK Inc.

Written by Kfir Kedem – May 31, 2021

Reviewed by Asaf Kedem

American truck companies have formed partnerships with autonomous vehicle software companies. Notably, Daimler Trucks North America partnered with Waymo Via and PACCAR and Volvo with Aurora. Kodiak Robotics came a bit late to the game as the company was only founded in 2018 and has not received long-term backing from any of the major truck manufacturers.

Although young, the California-based startup already has quite a robust solution developed. With the use of both short-range and long-range awareness systems through the form of cameras, LiDAR, and radar sensors, the Kodiak Robotics software can lead a truck through quite a few tricky conditions. This can be seen in the picture below.

Some of these are construction zones, around stalled vehicles, merging traffic, vehicle cut-ins, and even through harsh weather conditions.

Unlike the other self-driving development companies, Kodiak Robotics focuses solely on the development of self-driving trucks and puts 0 effort into passenger vehicles. The company’s founders believe that this specified focus will gain them an edge over the competition. Although there has not been a major truck company as a partner as of yet, Kodiak Robotics was able to secure a multiyear Research & Development contract with the United States Air Force. Furthermore, an additional partnership was formed with South Korea’s SK Inc. to get into the Asian market.

Auto Trendy’s take:

Being able to achieve the robust capabilities that Kodiak Robotics has been able to achieve in the short time that it has been alive is quite impressive. The company is currently the underdog in the long-haul truck market as it has no backing from the big American manufacturers. Partnering with the United States Air Force and SK Inc. will likely prove to be huge blessings as Kodiak Robotics will be able to continue working on the improvement of its solution with reliable backing and expand internationally.