Autonomous driving technology powered startup Kodiak Robotics announced that it would commence its commercial delivery operations in Texas using self-driving trucks. The company will set up a new facility in North Texas for freight testing, operations, and delivery.
However, Kodiak hasn't disclosed any details on its customers and the goods it would be transporting. Initially, the trucks will have a human driver behind its wheels as a safety precaution.
In August 2018, Kodiak had raised $40 million in its Series A funding round which has been put to good use. Battery Ventures led the funding, which gained General Partner Itzik Parnafes a seat in Kodiak’s board.
Co-founded by Don Brunette and Paz Eshel in April 2018, the company has owed its success to its dynamic and experienced workforce. Brunette, who is also the CEO of the company, was the co-founder of Otto, which was later acquired by Uber.
His experience stems from the time he served in the Google self-driving until when he decided to start his own venture. The other co-founder, Eshel, is a former venture capitalist who now serves as the COO.
“We always verify our system and ensure that our drivers and safety operators have complete control and that nothing bad happens to our trucks while they’re out operating on public roads. That’s our number one priority,” quoted Brunette.
Texas has become a breeding ground for autonomous vehicle startups. The state’s strategic position as a transportation hub and flexible regulations.
Seven employees will operate from the new facility in addition to the existing 60 employees housed at their California facility. In other relevant news, self-driving startup TuSimple had bagged a contract to operate USPS trailers between Phoenix and Dallas Distribution Centre.
With the Texas autonomous vehicle market space becoming more and more crowded, it would be interesting to see who would emerge at the top.
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