With shifting lanes, speed changes, heavy machinery, road workers, construction-specific signs and more, construction zones represent some of the toughest challenges for self-driving vehicles.
The Kodiak Driver is the industry’s most advanced technology stack purpose-built for long-haul trucks, leveraging a unique sensor fusion system and lightweight mapping solution. Today, the Kodiak Driver handles all aspects of highway driving, delivering freight safely, efficiently, and on time.
We’ve purpose-built the Kodiak Driver to operate in the environmental conditions required for long-haul trucking.
Rush hour. Holiday traffic. Construction backups. Heavy traffic is a normal but challenging highway occurrence. Our trucks can handle these hard to anticipate moments, optimizing their braking and acceleration to optimize for delivery windows while maximizing fuel efficiency.
Freight routes rarely run on a single highway. Our trucks merge on and off highways and can handle the hard to predict merges of other drivers.
Without hours of service restrictions the Kodiak Driver will be able to run nearly 24/7. Today we operate day and night, delivering freight in full sunlight and near-complete darkness.
Freight needs to get where it is needed regardless of the weather. We believe the same. Our trucks deliver rain or shine.
Slower-moving vehicles, interchanges, vehicles on the shoulder, and even unexpected obstacles are common on highways. The Kodiak Driver can identify, plan, and execute a path around obstacles to safely continue towards its destination.
Watch all 800+ miles as the Kodiak Driver completes back-to-back round trips between DFW and Houston, with zero disengagements of our self-driving system.
The Kodiak Driver was built from the ground up specifically for trucks. Trucks run for hundreds of thousands of miles, in the harshest of environments, for extremely long stretches. Our focus has always been on building technology that’s reliable, safe, automotive-grade, and commercial ready.
Using an array of sensors, the truck is able to "see" what's around it.
A custom computer processes sensor data and plans the truck's path.
The steering column, brakes, and throttle are controlled by the computer to safely move the truck to its destination.
- Human Machine Interface
An intuitive user interface ensures the Safety Driver is able to take control at all times, whether in manual or autonomous mode.
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Our technology stack is made of complex software and hardware system layers, each of which is responsible for a different component of the self-driving task.
How the truck “sees” what’s around it, using its wide range of sensors.
How the truck turns what it “sees” into meaningful, actionable information.
How the vehicle places itself in the world and determines its location, orientation, and speed.
How the vehicle decides where to drive, taking into account road conditions and the likely behaviors of other actors and objects on the road
Actually applying the throttle or brakes, turning the wheels, and otherwise actuating the vehicle to precisely follow the plan.
The Kodiak Driver takes the unique approach of treating all its sensors as primary. This allows our technology to build a richer understanding of its surroundings while maximizing performance by taking advantage of each sensor’s unique properties.
The LiDARs, radars and cameras found on Kodiak trucks are incredibly powerful, but they’re only as powerful as the perception layer that processes the data they capture to create an understanding of what’s happening around the truck. We call our perception system Kodiak Vision and it has three main steps:
The Kodiak Driver’s sensor suite collects raw data about the world around the truck.
Detectors process raw data to locate and classify objects.
The Kodiak Vision Tracker fuses the detections from each detector.
Instead of relying on the HD maps commonly used in the industry, the Kodiak Driver uses a unique lightweight mapping approach. Our maps contain just enough information about the highway to make autonomy possible, and allow us to quickly respond to the changing world. Unlike HD maps, our lightweight maps are easier to build and maintain, and are so small we can ship updates to the entire fleet over-the-air. A key advantage when keeping our entire fleet on the same page, even when a construction zone pops-up, or a lane changes.
Safety is mission-critical. Whether we’re running a simulation, testing our hardware or software, or putting our trucks on the road, we hold ourselves and each other to the highest safety standards in trucking, self-driving or otherwise.
At Kodiak safety is everyone’s responsibility. We’ve developed clear policies and procedures to ensure we follow safety best practices at every step of our development cycle and commercial operations.
Our world class Safety Drivers are responsible for monitoring both the road and the behavior of the vehicle
Download our complete Safety Report to read more on how we’re developing and testing the Kodiak Driver, safely.
We love to talk about how we’re building the Kodiak Driver, read more on Medium.