Advertisement

Kodiak lands U.S. Army autonomous vehicle contract

Self-driving truck maker Kodiak Robotics was awarded a $49.9-million contract on Tuesday to design and test autonomous vehicles for the military. Photo courtesy of Kodiak Robotics
Self-driving truck maker Kodiak Robotics was awarded a $49.9-million contract on Tuesday to design and test autonomous vehicles for the military. Photo courtesy of Kodiak Robotics

Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Kodiak Robotics received a nearly $50 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense on Tuesday, to design and test autonomous vehicles for the military.

The California-based producer of self-driving trucks will now help to automate future military ground vehicles led by the U.S. Army's Robotic Combat Vehicle program, the company said in a release.

Advertisement

The 24-month, $49.9 million contract was awarded through the Defense Department's Defense Innovation Unit.

The DIU is focused on fielding and scaling commercial technology across the U.S. military at commercial speeds.

RELATED Pair pleads guilty to bribery scheme linked to Marshall Islands investment region

Tuesday's contract will see Kodiak leverage its proprietary commercial self-driving software to develop, test and deploy the driverless vehicles. They are being configured for reconnaissance, surveillance, and "other high-risk missions."

Kodiak was the only autonomous vehicle company initially selected out of 33 submissions to the Army.

In the first year of the agreement, Kodiak will apply its technology to specific use cases, including future army vehicles. The following year, the contract calls for it to implement its autonomous driving system on off-road vehicles "capable of traversing complex terrain and operating remotely in unpredictable conditions," the Army said in a statement.

Advertisement

"I started Kodiak because I believe autonomous technology can save lives, and helping the U.S. Army develop driverless vehicles for the most challenging operating environments fits perfectly with that goal," Kodiak CEO Don Burnette said in a statement.

"We are proud to have the opportunity to leverage our cutting-edge self-driving technology for defense applications, and believe our work with DIU and the U.S. Army will both help strengthen national security and hasten our path to commercial deployment. We owe a debt of gratitude to the servicemen and women who step into harm's way to keep us safe; keeping them safe in return is an honor we take seriously."

The military has been pursuing automated and self-driving technology for years.

RELATED Seoul rolls out commercial self-driving buses in busy downtown area

In 2020, the U.S. Army and Clemson University announced a partnership to study conversion of Bradley tanks and armored personnel carriers to autonomous use.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement