Forward and Kodiak 24/6 Dallas-Atlanta service

  • March 20, 2023
  • William Payne

Forward and Kodiak Robotics have become the first to operate a 24/6 autonomous freight service between Dallas and Atlanta. The companies are delivering expedited freight 24 hours a day, six days a week.

To date, Kodiak has delivered more than 100 loads and driven more than 100,000 miles since it began working with Forward in August 2022. In order to maintain the schedule and abide by the hours-of-service regulations, Kodiak’s self-driving truck operates with a safety driver team overseeing the autonomous system.

Kodiak’s ability operates the 800 mile freight lane between Dallas and Atlanta using its autonomous system and sparse mapping solution. This proprietary mapping approach speeds the process of introducing new autonomous lanes, and it enables Kodiak to issue real-time, fleet-wide mapping updates over-the-air.

Tom Schmitt, Chairman, President and CEO of Forward said, “To serve our customers, we always need to be on the forefront of exploring emerging technologies. Kodiak has earned an outstanding reputation in safe autonomous trucking, and this collaboration allows us to explore potential benefits to our business. While we don’t see autonomous trucks replacing independent contractor capacity, this could potentially be a scalable solution for certain lanes in our network.”

“We are proving out our business model by moving time-sensitive freight across thousands of miles and multiple hours of service through our collaboration with Forward,” said Don Burnette, Founder and CEO, Kodiak. “The tweener lane between Dallas and Atlanta is long and difficult to staff, so it perfectly illustrates how autonomous trucks can make the supply chain more efficient and resilient and supplement our customers’ human driven fleets. At the same time, we are showcasing the reliability and ruggedness of our autonomous system, which is able to operate for six days straight without needing rest or recalibration—a significant achievement.”

Kodiak’s agreement with Forward is the latest relationship the company has announced. The company has previously announced partnerships with IKEA, Werner Enterprises, US Xpress, 10 Roads Express and CEVA Logistics.