Tire giant Bridgestone Americas has made a minority investment in Kodiak Robotics.
The deal will allow Bridgestone to integrate its smart-sensing tire technologies and fleet solutions into Kodiak’s Level 4 autonomous trucks.
The two companies will also pilot future autonomous and smart tire technologies for vehicle intelligence and advance toward a 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,” said Paolo Ferrari, global chief solutions officer at Bridgestone and president and CEO of Bridgestone Americas.
Ferrari said tire advancements promise to deliver additional sustainability benefits for Kodiak’s freight customers that use Level 4 self-driving long-haul trucks in the state of Texas with a safety driver on board.
Kodiak plans to deploy driverless trucks in the next few years with full vehicle intelligence as well as cloud-based technologies to leverage connected vehicle data to help predict tire health and maintenance.
Earlier this year, Kodiak completed a 205-mile journey in Texas in a completely disengagement free trip. Disengagements are when a safety driver must intervene in the vehicle’s operation. The company has also been actively increasing its use of lidar on its vehicles, most recently adding the technology to its mirror pods.