Bridgestone Americas announced it has made a minority investment in Kodiak Robotics, a U.S.-based self-driving trucking company. According to the company, the partnership will allow Bridgestone to integrate its smart-sensing tire technologies and fleet solutions into Kodiak’s level 4 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, Bridgestone says.
“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,” said Paolo Ferrari, global chief solutions officer, Bridgestone Corporation, and 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.”
According to the company, Kodiak moves freight autonomously for its customers using its fleet of level 4 self-driving long-haul trucks in the state of Texas with a safety driver on board. With plans to deploy driverless trucks in the next few years, full vehicle intelligence is a major key to unlocking safe, efficient and sustainable autonomy for Kodiak and its customers, the company says.
Bridgestone says its suite of cloud-based technologies leverage connected vehicle data to help predict tire health and maintenance, as well as optimize tire lifespan. Additionally, Bridgestone says its vehicle platform technologies provide tire intelligence to vehicle safety and autonomous systems to tune their performance and drive safer outcomes. The company says that together, Kodiak and Bridgestone will be able to link vehicle-based and smart-sensing tire technologies to improve vehicle safety, fleet efficiency, and the next generation of autonomous trucking solutions.