Kodiak Robotics hits milestone in driverless trucking (with video)

  • Kodiak Robotics has successfully completed “disengage-free” deliveries on a 205-mile stretch of Texas highway. 
  • As autonomous vehicle technology continues to mature, the term driverless itself is attracting greater scrutiny.

Kodiak Robotics, one of a handful of startups aiming to automate commercial trucking, has successfully completed “disengage-free” deliveries on a 205-mile stretch of Texas highway.



FreightTech 25: Ike’s humble road to autonomous trucking pays off

A tractor-trailer powered by autonomous trucking startup Ike.

Ike, an autonomous long-haul trucking startup that ranked No. 17 in FreightTech 25, made strides in 2020 toward the future where self-driving tractor-trailers pull freight on interstates. Perhaps recognizing the value of Ike’s people and technology, partner and minority investor Nuro recently acquired the company

“… We have watched as Ike developed not just one of the most rigorous safety-first and systems-based approaches to self-driving development, but also a team that is widely regarded as...


Nuro just likes Ike

Autonomous delivery company Nuro has acquired Ike, a self-driving long-haul trucking technology startup founded by veterans of Apple, Google and Uber’s self-driving unit, the Advanced Technologies Group (ATG).

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal came less than three weeks after autonomous delivery company Aurora acquired Uber ATG, one of several recent mergers suggesting the industry is leaning toward short-haul freight applications such as local delivery.

The acquisition also builds on...


Plus to sell autonomous trucks on Chinese freight-matching platform

Self-driving truck technology company Plus (formerly Plus.ai) announced Tuesday that it will sell trucks powered by its automated driving system on Full Truck Alliance (FTA), the Google-backed Chinese digital freight-matching platform. 

The Level 3 autonomous trucks will be manufactured by another Chinese trucking giant, FAW, the world’s largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer.

Earlier this year Plus announced that the truck in question, the FAW J7+, would start mass production in 2021.  

FTA took a...


Former DOT chief to potential Biden picks: Beware of agency turf wars

As President-elect Joe Biden considers his short list of choices to head up the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), picking someone who knows how to break down organizational silos could be the most important attribute of the next DOT secretary.

That would be the advice for the Biden transition team from James Burnley IV, who served as U.S. secretary of transportation from 1987 to 1989 under President Ronald Reagan.

“Needless to say, [Biden’s transition team] didn’t seek my advice,” Burnley...


Google-backed Chinese trucking startup raises $1.7B

Full Truck Alliance (FTA), a Chinese digital freight-matching startup, has raised $1.7 billion from a group of heavy-hitter investors including SoftBank’s Vision Fund, Sequoia, Permira and Fidelity, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The raise, announced on Tuesday, came two years after FTA, known as Manbang in China,  brought in $1.9 billion from investors including SoftBank and Alphabet Inc.’s venture capital fund Capital G.

Formed by the merger of two rival companies in 2017, Full Truck...


TuSimple snags Goodyear Tire in latest autonomous trucking partnership

TuSimple is partnering with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., as the self-driving trucking company continues to build a network of supplier and OEM partners.

The collaboration, announced Tuesday, will provide tires and tire management solutions to TuSimple’s Autonomous Freight Network (AFN). 

As part of the agreement, Goodyear also will provide products and repair services for the Level 4 autonomous trucks. Level 4 autonomy refers to trucks that do not need a driver under certain conditions.



Self-driving big rigs: More like the internet than the iPhone

  • Industry panel says autonomous trucks will be phased in gradually, eventually transforming a huge swath of economic activity.
  • Autonomous trucking deployment limited by patchwork of state regulations.
  • Embark legal counsel: “Any accident would set the entire industry back. The peer pressure is not just present — it’s existential.”

Federal regulations give autonomous trucking companies wide latitude to operate on public roads, but as a new administration prepares to take office, industry...


5 trucking sustainability trends for 2021

5 sustainability trends for 2021 in the trucking industry.

According to an International Transport Forum (ITF) report, freight accounts for 7% of total global CO2 emissions, with trucking being the largest contributor. As the world faces more effects of climate change every day, the trucking industry is driving toward a greener, more efficient future.

Alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs)

The deployment of AFVs — including electric, hydrogen-electric and renewable natural gas (RNG) — is on the rise. The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) said electric...


In autonomous trucking, Ike bets on humility, not disruption (with video)

When Alden Woodrow and his team at Ike, an autonomous trucking technology company, first made the rounds of investors in Silicon Valley, they pitched a decidedly low-key approach to getting their software to market.

“We very explicitly said, ‘If you want us to launch a product in the next 18 months, you should not invest because that will not be possible,’” said Woodrow, Ike’s co-founder CEO.

That kind of truth telling probably lost them some investors, Woodrow said.

Others were sold. In 2019, a...


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