FOR THE DEVELOPERS of self-driving vehicles, semi-trucks are a potential low-hanging fruit. Although big rigs are imposingly, intimidatingly huge, they also predominantly run on freeways and other fixed routes that are simpler to automate. Fleet managers are easier to convince with rational, financial arguments than individual car buyers. Plus, there’s a shortage of some 50,000 truck drivers in the US.
Today, a new startup, Kodiak Robotics, is edging out of stealth, announcing $40 million in financing, and telling the world it’s going to pick and ship that fruit.