Kodiak launches its 4th-generation self-driving semi-truck

The system uses radar, lidar and cameras mounted in pods on a truck's side-view mirrors to see.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read

The Kodiak system mounts its suite of sensors on the vehicle's mirror stalks.


The trucking industry is in a lot of trouble right now due to a severe lack of drivers. This comes at a time when demand for shipping is higher than ever and when you put those two together, you have a recipe for overworked, unsafe drivers, which nobody wants. That's why there has been such a significant push for autonomous semi-trucks in recent years.

That move towards autonomy in the trucking industry is where Kodiak Robotics comes in, with its fourth-generation Kodiak Driver system, which the company announced on Tuesday. The system is somewhat unique from others on the road in its modularity and ease of installation on any modern Class 8 truck, regardless of brand. 

This is handled through the Kodiak Vision system, which mounts long-range radar, 360-degree lidar and cameras where a truck's side mirrors would typically be located. Mounting these sensors on the mirror stalks means fewer changes to the bodywork. Those sensors work in conjunction with Kodiak's system of maps that are constantly updated in real-time by every vehicle in the fleet and alert self-driving trucks of hazards on their routes.

Kodiak is making its fourth-generation technology available in two ways. If you already own a fleet of trucks, you can install the sensor pods and pay a subscription fee for the Kodiak Driver. Or, you can pay Kodiak to ship your goods with its fleet of autonomous trucks. That fleet, by the way, is being expanded by an additional 15 PACCAR Class 8 trucks, which should mean lots more miles of driving to help train the Kodiak AI.

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