Pilot Company, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, announced today a strategic partnership with Kodiak Robotics, Inc., a leading self-driving trucking company. Through this partnership, Pilot Company and Kodiak are collaborating to develop autonomous truck services at Pilot and Flying J travel centers.
Pilot Company and Kodiak are in the process of creating an autonomous truckport in the Atlanta area to evaluate potential service offerings and explore scalable solutions. These services will include spaces to pick-up and drop-off autonomous trucking loads; conduct inspections; maintain and refuel trucks; and the ability to transfer data for processing, such as feature development and mapping. To strengthen the ability to work together to develop a solution that works best for its customers, Pilot Company has made a strategic investment in Kodiak and will join the company’s Board of Directors.
“Pilot Company is committed to providing best in class service to its customers today and going forward,” said John Tully, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Pilot Company. “In making this strategic investment, we understand that our customers have a need for real solutions that help address the growing demand to move goods and Kodiak is a strong leader in the autonomous trucking space. As we explore the future of autonomous trucks and how we can best support these customers, we will continue to be the travel center network that the trucking industry and professional drivers can count on for the services and care they need.”
Combining Pilot Company’s nationwide network of travel centers and services with Kodiak’s technology will play a crucial role in the deployment of autonomous trucks. Kodiak will lend its expertise as Pilot Company looks to integrate autonomous truck services into its operations. The partnership will further define service and maintenance requirements, operational necessities, facilities planning, and more to meet the needs of autonomous trucks.
“Pilot Company’s industry-leading network of highway-adjacent travel centers provides unprecedented geographic reach for the launch and scale of Kodiak’s fast-growing network of autonomous trucking lanes,” said Don Burnette, Founder and CEO of Kodiak Robotics. “Their customer first approach, with a focus on technology, scale, and infrastructure, makes Pilot Company an ideal partner to support the service and maintenance of self-driving trucks nationwide. We are honored to have Pilot Company as an investor, strategic partner, and supporter of our continued commercial footprint growth.”
Kodiak entered a hyper-growth phase in 2022, significantly expanding its service footprint and partner network. In July, the company announced a partnership with 10 Roads Express, a provider of time sensitive surface transportation for the U.S. Postal Service, expanding the company’s service to Florida. Earlier this year, Kodiak announced a new route between Dallas and Oklahoma City with CEVA Logistics and a route between Dallas and Atlanta with U.S. Xpress. The company has been delivering freight commercially since 2019 and currently has six routes that run regularly between Dallas and Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Atlanta, Oklahoma City and Jacksonville, Florida.
Berkshire Hathaway and Pilot
In 2017, Berkshire Hathaway made a $2.76 billion investment in Pilot, obtaining an initial 38.6 percent stake in the company, and Berkshire will become the majority owner in 2023.
© 2022 David Mazor
Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.