Bridgestone Americas has made a minority investment in Kodiak Robotics, a leading U.S.-based self-driving trucking company.
Bridgestone says the partnership will allow the company to integrate its smart-sensing tire technologies and fleet solutions into Kodiak's level 4 autonomous trucks. The companies will also pilot future autonomous and smart tire technologies to further enhance vehicle intelligence and advance toward a safer, more efficient, and more sustainable mobility future.
"Automated vehicles offer a number of benefits to commercial fleet customers and society, including safer roads with fewer unexpected incidents, and upwards of 20 percent savings in fuel and efficiency," says Paolo Ferrari, global chief solutions officer, Bridgestone Corporation, and president & CEO, Bridgestone Americas. "Advancements in tire-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 revolutionize commercial trucking."
Kodiak moves freight autonomously for its customers using its fleet of level 4 self-driving long-haul trucks in the state of Texas 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 says its suite of cloud-based technologies leverages connected vehicle data to help predict tire health and maintenance, as well as optimize tire lifespan. Additionally, Bridgestone's vehicle platform technologies provide tire 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 tire technologies to improve vehicle safety, fleet efficiency, and the next generation of autonomous trucking solutions, the companies say.
"After an extensive diligence process, Bridgestone has chosen Kodiak as an autonomous trucking partner," says Don Burnette, co-founder and CEO, 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 tires and sensors to predictive maintenance."