“DriverlessOpens a New Window.” trucks are on the road and making deliveries in between Dallas and Houston.
Kodiak RoboticsOpens a New Window. built the self-driving trucks and confirmed they are on the Texas highways in plain view. But don’t worry, they have a driver in them, just in case. “For now, this technologyOpens a New Window. is in the testing and development phase and, for the foreseeable future, until it’s absolutely safe, we’re always going to have a safety driver in the driver’s seat,” Don Burnette, Kodiak CEO and co-founder, told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on “Varney & Co.”
Now, let’s say that truck gets into a wreck. Who is liable? Burnette says, ultimately, the liability rests on Kodiak Robotics since they are being developed and operated by them. “That’s why we take safety as our absolute top priority,” Burnette said. “At the end of the day, our safety drivers are professionally trained, extremely experienced truck drivers. We take incredible precautions to ensure nothing bad can happen on the road with our technology, but ultimately, the liability rests on Kodiak.”
At the moment, the truck is on a very wide, straight road with very little traffic. Burnette said that was intentional.
“We want to develop this technology in places that are less challenging technically than the urban environments,” Burnette said. “That’s why at Kodiak we’ve decided to focus specifically on what we call the ‘middle mile’ for freight delivery.” What Burnette means by “middle mile” is the areas of roadways like on-ramps, straight highways and off-ramps. He believes that type of driving will help them develop the technology sooner.