Autonomous driving: Bridgestone invests in Kodiak Robotics
Bridgestone Americas has made a minority investment in Kodiak Robotics, a leading self-driving trucking company in the USA. Nizar Trigui, Bridgestone Americas’ chief technology officer and group president of its Solutions Businesses, also joins the Kodiak Robotics Board of Directors.
According to Bridgestone, the partnership will allow for an integration of its smart-sensing tyre technologies and fleet solutions into Kodiak’s level 4 autonomous trucks. The partners will also pilot future autonomous and smart tyre technologies.
“Automated vehicles offer a number of benefits to commercial fleet customers and society, including safer roads with fewer unexpected incidents, and upwards of 20 per cent savings in fuel and efficiency,” says Paolo Ferrari, president and chief executive officer of Bridgestone Americas and (from July 2021) Bridgestone Corporation’s chief solutions officer. “Advancements in tyre-centric technologies are critical to unlocking greater innovation in mobility, while also delivering significant sustainability benefits. This investment will enable Bridgestone and Kodiak to work together to co-develop advanced mobility solutions with speed and precision that will revolutionise commercial trucking.”
Full vehicle intelligence
Kodiak moves freight autonomously for its customers using a fleet of level 4 self-driving long-haul trucks in the state of Texas, currently with a safety driver on board. With plans to deploy driverless trucks in the next few years, full vehicle intelligence is a major key to unlocking safe, efficient and sustainable autonomy for Kodiak and its customers.
Bridgestone’s suite of cloud-based technologies leverage connected vehicle data to help predict tyre health and maintenance, as well as optimise tyre lifespan. Additionally, Bridgestone’s vehicle platform technologies provide tyre intelligence to vehicle safety and autonomous systems to tune their performance and drive safer outcomes.
Together, Kodiak and Bridgestone will be able to link vehicle-based and smart-sensing tyre technologies to improve vehicle safety, fleet efficiency, and the next generation of autonomous trucking solutions.
A huge moment for Kodiak
“After an extensive diligence process, Bridgestone has chosen Kodiak as an autonomous trucking partner,” states Don Burnette, co-founder and chief executive officer of Kodiak Robotics. “Bridgestone’s investment is a huge moment for Kodiak and a great validation of our industry-leading autonomous system.
“As part of our partnership, we are pleased to welcome Bridgestone’s chief technology officer and group president, Solutions Businesses, Nizar Trigui, to our Board of Directors as an observer. Kodiak and Bridgestone will work together to advance self-driving trucking technology, from tyres and sensors to predictive maintenance.”