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Kodiak Launches its First Autonomous Military Prototype Vehicle

  • Kodiak has adapted the Kodiak Driver, its autonomous system, for defense use
  • The autonomous vehicle is designed to provide the military with technological superiority over potential adversaries while removing servicemembers from high-risk reconnaissance missions

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Kodiak Robotics, Inc., a leading self-driving technology developer for the trucking and defense markets, today unveiled its first autonomous test vehicle designed specifically for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). This vehicle is a Ford F-150 upfitted with Kodiak’s autonomous system, the Kodiak Driver, and contains both the autonomy hardware and software required to operate a military ground vehicle. The Kodiak Driver-equipped vehicle is designed to handle complex military environments, diverse operational conditions, and areas with degraded GPS, as well as off-road variables like rocks, dust, mud, and water. The Kodiak Driver also provides the Army the ability to remotely operate vehicles when necessary.

Kodiak’s new autonomous vehicle shows the maturity and portability of our autonomous system, which we call the Kodiak Driver,” said Don Burnette, Founder and CEO, Kodiak. “We have built a comprehensive autonomous system that can be integrated into any vehicle, from a Class 8 truck, to a pickup, to a next-generation defense vehicle. Integrating Kodiak’s technology into an off-road capable vehicle shows the potential for commercial and dual-use technology to revolutionize national security, just as the Department of Defense is looking to ramp up its focus on autonomous technology. We are proud to support the military, and look forward to the day that Kodiak Driver-powered vehicles can provide the U.S. military with more mission options and technical superiority, all while keeping our servicemen and women out of harm’s way.”

Kodiak demonstrated the portability of the Kodiak Driver by integrating it into a new vehicle in less than six months. This rapid development is possible due to the versatility of Kodiak’s modular and vehicle-agnostic autonomous system. The vehicle runs the same software as Kodiak’s autonomous long-haul trucks, and features Kodiak DefensePods, an adapted version of Kodiak’s modular, swappable SensorPods, designed for defense applications. A technician can swap out a DefensePod in the field in 10 minutes or less, with no specialized training required.

In December 2022, Kodiak announced contract award with options up to $50 Million with the U.S. Department of Defense, specifically Defense Innovation Unit in support of the U.S. Army to develop demonstrator prototype autonomous ground vehicles. As part of this contract, Kodiak designed its vehicle in line with the Army’s Product Manager Robotic Combat Vehicle program’s unique Software Acquisition Pathways strategy. The Software Acquisition Pathways strategy allows the DoD to acquire hardware and software solutions separately, to ensure that DoD gets the best possible combination of hardware and software for persistent modernization.

As part of this program, Kodiak will build and deliver two off-road-capable vehicles based on the Ford F-150 vehicle. Kodiak began testing the vehicles at a U.S. military base this November 2023. Once the testing is successfully completed, Kodiak plans to put its autonomous system into a purpose-built ground reconnaissance vehicle for military use.

Prior to testing the F-150 vehicles, Kodiak used its semi-trucks to test its autonomous system in off-road environments. Testing the Kodiak Driver in off-road environments also helps Kodiak improve its on-road long-haul trucking technology. For example, testing on off road terrain has helped Kodiak further harden its hardware platform while improving the Kodiak Driver’s handling of dust, rocks, and other small obstacles.

About Kodiak Robotics, Inc.
Kodiak Robotics, Inc. was founded in 2018 with the goal to become the trusted world leader in autonomous ground transportation, committed to a safer and more efficient future for all. The company is developing the industry-leading autonomous technology for commercial freight and defense applications. Kodiak’s unique modular hardware approach integrates sensors into a streamlined sensor-pod structure that optimizes for perception, scalability, and maintainability. The company delivers freight daily for its customers across the South, driving over 70,000 autonomous miles per month. Kodiak leverages its commercial self-driving software to develop, test and deploy autonomous capabilities for the U.S. Department of Defense. Learn more about Kodiak on the web at kodiak.ai, and on LinkedIn and Twitter. You can find the company press kit HERE.

SOURCE Kodiak Robotics



Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/kodiak-launches-its-first-autonomous-military-prototype-vehicle-302004126.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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