IKEA and Kodiak Robotics are testing a self-driving delivery service in Texas.
- Self-driving delivery trucks from startup company Kodiak Robotics will make deliveries for IKEA in Texas as part of a new pilot program.
- The trucks will transport cargo from an IKEA warehouse near Houston to an IKEA retail location in Dallas.
- Safety drivers will be onboard the semi trucks as they make the 300-mile trek.
Why it’s news
More companies are looking to self driving vehicles for delivery options. Kodiak’s CEO Don Burnette doesn’t see these self-driving vehicles as a threat to current truck driver’s jobs, however.
“Adopting autonomous trucking technology can improve drivers’ quality of life by focusing on the local driving jobs most prefer to do. Together [with IKEA] we can enhance safety, improve working conditions for drivers, and create a more sustainable freight transportation system,” Burnette says.
As more self-driving delivery vehicles become available, distributors are looking for ways to reduce costs and strain on the workforce.
Backing up a bit
IKEA isn’t the only company looking to innovate its delivery systems. Google’s self-driving vehicle system has more than 1 million pounds of Modelo and Corona beer between Dallas and Houston. Recently, Tesla announced that its fully electric semi trucks would be delivered to PepsiCo in early December.
Electric-vehicle (EV) startup Canoo recently announced a massive order of electric vans from van rental provider Kingbee—marking the company’s largest EV order.
Kingbee ordered 9,300 EV vans from Canoo, an American based EV startup company. This is the second major order Canoo has announced this month. Earlier it announced a contract with van rental company Zeeba for 3,000 vehicles.
Earlier this year, Colorado-based manufacturer Lightning eMotors made a deal with Canadian GoBolt to make 170 electric delivery vans and box trucks within the next year.
The Canadian company ordered 70 delivery vans and 100 trucks that will be used in the U.S. and Canada. Lightning eMotors currently specializes in retrofitting utility vehicles to turn them into zero-emissions fleets.