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2022: Safety, Partners, and Progress

Kodiak truck photo

A look at Kodiak’s big 2022

2022 has been an absolutely huge year for Kodiak. Since we announced our oversubscribed Series B in late 2021, we have really hit the gas.

Our focus has always been on building the safest and most efficient autonomous technology for long-haul trucking. Here are just some of the ways we made massive strides toward launching trucking’s best autonomous solution in 2022 and how we’ve set the stage to continue the momentum in 2023.

New partners. New lanes.

For us, 2022 was all about new partners, new lanes, and new miles. This year, we’ve had the honor of forging new partnerships with some of the biggest names in trucking, including Werner, IKEA, Pilot, U.S. Xpress, CEVA Logistics, and 10 Roads Express. We were proud to work with our partners to expand outside Texas for the first time, following the freight to Oklahoma City in February. From there, our map only grew as we added new pilots between Dallas and Atlanta, Dallas and Jacksonville, and our first coast-to-coast runs. We hit our millionth mile, and in December, we delivered our 2,500th load.

None of this would have been possible without our unique sparse mapping solution. While most of the AV industry uses traditional HD maps that are nearly impossible to build and maintain at scale, Kodiak’s maps are stripped down to only focus on the data we need to safely drive. Our sparse maps are easy to build and maintain, making them optimal for the ever-changing highway environments. This makes it possible for us to scale rapidly with the most accurate on road information, unlocking new lanes in days. Not months.

Building a safe autonomous solution that’s ready for deployment.

Working with our commercial partners over the past couple of years has taught us a lot about the trucking industry. One thing we’ve heard over and over is the importance of building technology that’s easy to understand, easy to maintain, and easy to service.

To address that need, we designed Kodiak SensorPods to integrate into the truck’s stock mirror mounts, thoughtfully fitting lidar, radars, and cameras into a simple, easy-to-maintain enclosure. Worried that something might get damaged and need a replacement? The whole thing can be easily swapped out in less than 10 minutes, faster than you can change a tire. And with no specialized training. It’s this kind of thinking that makes the difference between a science experiment and a product.

Talking about tire changes, curious how an autonomous truck handles a steer tire blowout? Of course you are. Tire blowouts are scary! They lead to dangerous situations like jackknifing. So in 2022, we showed how the kodiakDriver can identify a tire blowout and safely pull over on the side of the road. A big step on the path to safe driverless deployment.

Leading the charge to ensure safe AV operations.

2022 was truly a critical year for AV trucking as policymakers really began to wrap their heads around autonomous trucking. In fact, new laws were passed in four states: Oklahoma, West Virginia, Kansas, and Pennsylvania. Plus, after years of work, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance approved its new Enhanced Inspection program designed specifically for autonomous trucks. Kodiak played a key role in developing the program, and we’re excited to continue our partnerships with law enforcement to make the roads safer.

Best team in the biz.

So, how have we been able to accomplish so much this year? Our team. We’re a talented, nimble, and hard working group. Don’t get us wrong though, we know how to have a good time and focus on our culture. In fact, Kodiak was named one of Inc. Magazine’s Annual List of Best Workplaces for 2022. At this time we’re continuing to grow our teams in California and Texas. As they say, #werehiring. We’re growing fast: there are twice as many Kodiakers today as there were a year ago. We’re excited to be building out office space in both Texas and California to make sure we have room for all the new folks we’re bringing on board.

Making waves.

We’re excited to say that all the progress we’ve made has been getting us noticed. From being named 9th in FreightTech 25 to being featured on podcasts and television, we’re thrilled to be telling our story. Be sure to check out some of our highlights: Fox Business, TechCrunch, New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. We’ve also been on the speaking circuit, so make sure to stop by transportation and trucking conferences to hear from our team!

One more thing.

In case you missed it, we broke some major news earlier this month, announcing our $49.9 million 24-month United States Department of Defense (DoD) contract to help automate future U.S. Army ground vehicles. We’re especially excited that this project will not happen in a vacuum: our DoD work will help us progress Kodiak’s trucking stack and core commercial offering,  while helping to keep servicemembers out of harm’s way. Of course, our hearts will always be with trucks, but it is incredibly exciting to bring the kodiakDriver to applications beyond long-haul trucking.

Image of a Kodiak truck on a highway with US Army and Defense Innovation Unit logos

Whew. What a year.

2022 has been a fantastic year for Kodiak. Next year pledges to be pretty great too, with new people, new partners, and new technical milestones. Here’s to 2023 being even better than 2022.