CEO of Kodiak Robotics on advanced autonomous driving technology

This roundup of the fireside chat is from the second FreightWaves Electric and Autonomous Vehicle Summit, which took place on Wednesday.

CHAT TOPIC BY THE FIRE: Building the most advanced autonomous driving technology in the trucking industry.

DETAILS: There is talk of electric and autonomous trucks individually, but what about having both in the same vehicle? Kodiak Technologies is focused on autonomy, but hopes one day, with the help of professionals from the electrical side of the industry, to combine these two ideas in an efficient and, more importantly, safe way to revolutionize transportation.

SPEAKER: Don Burnette is Co-Founder and CEO of Kodiak Robotics.

BIOGRAPHY: Burnette has over 10 years of experience working on autonomous driving software development. He began his career as software technology lead for Google’s self-driving car project, the predecessor to Waymo. After more than five years at Google, Burnette left the company to co-found Otto, the first self-driving truck startup, which was acquired by Uber.


“From a technological point of view, we are more advanced than most people think. This is one of the things that we’re trying to get people to understand is that trucks are incredibly capable today, they can handle just about every driving task that you’d expect a truck or vehicle to handle on the road. roads That is why we have now turned our attention to maintenance and sustainability.”

“We are very platform independent. Our intelligence does not care if it is a combustion engine, a diesel engine, a fuel cell or an electric battery; we can operate in all those modalities on all those different platforms. Of course now we have to introduce and demonstrate that technology, but we talked to a lot of the manufacturers that are at the forefront of this technology and we’re very excited about the direction the industry is going and we’re excited to show how autonomy and electrification they can come together and really propel us into the future of transportation.”

“We will remove the driver when it is safe to do so. I think it’s coming in the next few years, but it’s really hard to pinpoint exactly when it’s going to happen. But look, we are at a point of development that has to do with validation and functional security analysis to prove that the system is secure. We recently announced our alternative system, which showed that our truck is monitoring over 1,000 diagnostics, and if something goes out of range or trips, then the truck can pull over safely to the side of the road, stop safely, ask for help and report the problem.”

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