Kodiak Robotics, a leading player in the autonomous trucking industry, has announced the introduction of the first-ever autonomous electric Class 8 truck. The company plans to outfit a Peterbilt Model 579EV electric truck with its proprietary self-driving technology, known as the Kodiak Driver. The revolutionary vehicle is expected to join Kodiak’s fleet in 2024.
Why It Matters
The Peterbilt Model 579EV truck, being the second vehicle platform that Kodiak is equipping, features the company’s fifth-generation sensors. Significantly, Kodiak’s autonomous system is vehicle- and powertrain-agnostic. This means the company can seamlessly integrate its self-driving system into any new truck platforms that emerge, irrespective of the fuel type.
The Peterbilt Model 579EV’s battery can be recharged in as little as three hours and delivers a peak power rating of 670 horsepower. With a range of up to 150 miles, this truck is primarily designed for short-haul and drayage deployments, making it an ideal test vehicle for Kodiak. As EV truck technology evolves and their range expands, Kodiak is poised to integrate its technology into future EV platforms.
Research shows that autonomous technology can contribute to a 10% reduction in fuel consumption. This increased efficiency could significantly extend the range of electric vehicles (EVs).
Kodiak’s CEO, Don Burnette, expressed his belief in the future of trucking being a blend of electric and autonomous vehicles. He emphasized the potential of advancements in battery and fuel cell technologies to achieve zero-emissions trucking. The company’s work on the Peterbilt Model 579EV is expected to provide valuable insights into constructing autonomous electric vehicles and fulfilling customer demands for such innovations.
In line with its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitment, Kodiak Robotics aims to enhance the sustainability of its trucks. The company plans to investigate other eco-friendly vehicle platforms, such as fuel cells, as they are introduced to the market. The integration of a zero-emissions truck into Kodiak’s autonomous fleet underscores the company’s commitment to sustainable transportation solutions.