The future of logistics and transportation is becoming increasingly automated Kodiak Robotics Inc. announced an electric autonomous semitruck in its fleet next year. This is an important milestone for the self-driving trucking industry, as companies like Kodiaq continue to develop safer and more reliable autonomous vehicle systems.
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The company’s Class 8 Peterbilt truck implementation will conquer new roads in 2024. It comes as California — a key market for Kodiak Robotics — recently banned diesel heavy-duty trucks by 2036, promoting innovation and electrification. This shift toward electrified vehicles creates an opportunity for first-movers like Kodiak Robotics, particularly because the firm offers a vehicle-agnostic autonomous system that easily pairs with any manufacturer.
Development of autonomous vehicles and AI
The rise of autonomous vehicles has largely coincided with the rise of Tesla Inc., has had a profound impact. Tesla’s self-driving software forced nearly every traditional carmaker to implement similar technology.
In the startup sector, startups such as AvaWatz provide autonomous robotics and computer vision solutions for government and commercial customers, allowing teams of drones and robots to work together. One of the company’s advanced systems uses drones and computer vision capabilities to clear airport runways of debris, an essential task previously accomplished by humans.
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an ever-increasing range
Kodiak’s vehicles are ideal for short distance trips as there are range limitations for heavy electrified trucks which currently make them unsuitable for long haul distances. Providers such as Kodiak Robotics predict considerable improvements in range, similar to the progress seen with the range and performance features of consumer electric vehicles. Kodiak Robotics notes that there is significant demand for electrified autonomous vehicles for short-range jobs, and that demand will grow along with extended range.
Trucking firms stand to benefit immensely from autonomous truck adoption, as wages and benefits are considerable costs they can reduce or eliminate. Human drivers have skill and intuition, but they also face restrictions on their hours of operation and often drive on limited rest, putting themselves and others at risk.
The Kodiak Robotics truck has several key capabilities that are essential to any autonomous trucking firm that hopes to get its vehicles off the road:
Powerful Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) and radar as well as short- and long-range cameras can sense objects and provide distance and proximity information about various objects to the vehicle’s computer.
Precise driving controls manage the throttle and brakes in response to real-time driving conditions.
Intelligent machine learning helps the truck plan its route for optimum efficiency and safety.
Multiple redundancies keep the truck working in the event of a failure and the use of aerospace-grade materials ensures high reliability.
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In California, state legislators are debating a bill that would require a human controller in any autonomous vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Industry firms will need to establish safety standards and demonstrate the benefits of autonomous drivers to overcome restrictions and reduce public hesitation. Testing or deploying autonomous vehicles is currently illegal in California.
Another roadblock for trucking companies is city driving. Compared to long distance highway trips, navigating a semitruck in a city is challenging. Winding through a city to a delivery destination requires an autonomous vehicle to sense and navigate through pedestrians, use caution around construction workers and through tight spaces filled with cyclists and other vehicles . There is also limited charging infrastructure for long-distance electrified freight vehicles.
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This article competes with the Tesla Semi: Kodiak Robotics to Roll Out Sleek New Autonomous Big Rig originally appeared on Benzinga.com
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