Bridgestone Americas Inc. has made a minority investment in Kodiak Robotics, an autonomous trucking company. The partnership will allow Bridgestone to integrate its smart-sensing tire technologies into Kodiak's level-four autonomous trucks.
The companies will also pilot future autonomous and smart tire technologies "to further enhance vehicle intelligence and advance toward a safer, more efficient, and more sustainable mobility future," according to Bridgestone officials.
Kodiak trucks employ level-four autonomous driving technology with a "safety driver" on-board. The company, which currently operates in Texas, plans to deploy completely driver-less trucks within the next few years.
"Bridgestone’s suite of cloud-based technologies leverage connected vehicle data to help predict tire health and maintenance, as well as optimize tire lifespan. Additionally, Bridgestone’s vehicle platform technologies provide tire intelligence to vehicle safety and autonomous systems to tune their performance and drive safer outcomes."
“Automated vehicles offer a number of benefits to commercial fleet customers and society, including safer roads with fewer unexpected incidents, and upwards of 20% savings in fuel and efficiency,” says Paolo Ferrari, president and CEO, Bridgestone Americas.
“Advancements in tire-centric technologies are critical to unlocking greater innovation in mobility, while also delivering significant sustainability benefits. This investment will enable Bridgestone and Kodiak to work together to co-develop advanced mobility solutions with speed and precision that will revolutionize commercial trucking.”