Kodiak and Pilot open autonomous truckport

  • September 11, 2023
  • William Payne

Kodiak Robotics has opened a truckport in partnership with Pilot, America’s largest travel centre operator. Located in Villa Rica, Georgia, the Pilot-owned truckport will be used for launching and landing Kodiak autonomous trucks. It will also be used as a hub for pick up and drop off for manual first and last mile deliveries, and to conduct maintenance, refuelling and enhanced inspections specifically for self-driving trucks.

The new truckport will serve as an eastern satellite hub for Kodiak’s network and support its 18,000 mile autonomous deployment network. The company’s Dallas-Fort Worth hub will continue to serve as the main terminal for its autonomous truck fleet. The Villa Rica truckport will be a model for future Kodiak truckports, which will be designed to be highly scalable to meet lean infrastructure requirements.

Additional services at the truckport include refuelling at the Pilot Travel Centre, light maintenance, and pre-trip inspections, including Enhanced Inspections specifically designed for self-driving trucks.

“Partnering with Pilot Company to build the Villa Rica truckport ensures that we have access to the truckport services we need, utilising Pilot’s industry-leading travel centre network,” said Don Burnette, founder and CEO of Kodiak Robotics. “This partnership, combined with Kodiak’s flexible technology stack, enables our scalable, asset-light approach to building our truckport network. The freight lane between Dallas and Atlanta is critical to the nation’s supply chain and economy, and this truckport enables us to refine our operations model as we continue to grow.”

“Pilot Company rigorously tests ways to integrate new technologies, including autonomous trucks, to maintain our safety-first focus and continue fueling the trucking industry,” said Brandon Trama, director of strategy and business development at Pilot Company. “Working with Kodiak aligns with our emphasis on improving the quality of life for professional drivers. Autonomous trucks focus on the long, repeatable highway miles, leaving the more enticing local, first- and last-mile deliveries for professional drivers who can stay closer to home.”

In August 2022, Pilot Company announced that it had made a strategic investment in Kodiak and joined its Board of Directors. Kodiak and Pilot are exploring further expansion within Pilot’s national travel centre network. The opening of the Pilot Villa Rica truckport follows Kodiak’s recent partnership announcements with Loadsmith, C.R. England and Tyson, IKEA, Werner, and Forward.