Kodiak Robotics and Pilot Company Open Inaugural AI Truckport

The Georgia-based hub will launch and land autonomous trucks.

August 18, 2023

The Pilot company and Kodiak Robotics Inc., a self-driving trucking company, announced the opening of an autonomous truckport in Villa Rica, Georgia. This is the first hub of the partnership between the two companies.

“Pilot travel center in Villa Rica, Georgia, will be used by Kodiak to launch and land autonomous trucks and will serve as a convenient hub for drivers to pick up and drop off first- and last-mile deliveries. The Villa Rica truckport will support Kodiak's 18,000-mile-long autonomous deployment network, the industry's largest and most robust set of mapped routes for self-driving trucks,” according to a company press release.

The new hub will serve as the eastern satellite for Kodiak’s network of autonomous driving while its Dallas-Fort Worth location will remain the company’s main terminal.

"Partnering with Pilot Company to build the Villa Rica truckport ensures that we have access to the truckport services we need, utilizing Pilot's industry-leading travel center network," said Don Burnette, founder and CEO of Kodiak Robotics. "This partnership, combined with Kodiak's flexible technology stack, enables our scalable, asset-light approach to building our truckport network. The freight lane between Dallas and Atlanta is critical to the nation's supply chain and economy, and this truckport enables us to refine our operations model as we continue to grow."

According to the release, “Pilot Company announced [in August of 2022] that it had made a strategic investments in Kodiak and joined its Board of Directors. Kodiak and Pilot are exploring further expansion within Pilot's national travel center network. The opening of the Pilot Villa Rica truckport follows Kodiak's recent partnership announcements with Loadsmith, C.R. England and Tyson, IKEA, Werner, Forward and more.”

"Pilot Company rigorously tests ways to integrate new technologies, including autonomous trucks, to maintain our safety-first focus and continue fueling the trucking industry," said Brandon Trama, director of strategy and business development at Pilot Company. "Working with Kodiak aligns with our emphasis on improving the quality of life for professional drivers. Autonomous trucks focus on the long, repeatable highway miles, leaving the more enticing local, first- and last-mile deliveries for professional drivers who can stay closer to home."

With a national truck driver shortage, autonomous truck driving is one way to fill in the gaps. Read the NACS Daily story “Calling All Truckers” to learn more about the shortage and what some states are doing to combat it.