Kratos to Deploy Self-Driving Platooning Technology for Ohio & Indiana Routes

Kratos' self-driving technology will be integrated as part of normal 24/7 supply chain activity hauling freight in 53-foot dry van trailers on short-haul routes for round-trip totals of 450-500 miles By Joe Macey / 18 Mar 2024
Self-Driving Truck Platoons to Haul Freight Between Ohio & Indiana
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Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. is set to deploy self-driving Class 8 tractor/trailers in a Leader Follower Platoon hauling customer freight shipments along routes in Ohio and Indiana.

The Kratos Unmanned Systems Division has been contracted to deploy its self-driving platooning technology later this year between Ohio and Indiana along a major trucking corridor. 

Teamed with third-party logistics (3PL) company EASE Logistics, the Leader Follower Platoon will be a first-of-its kind deployment to address driver shortage impacts by enabling business continuity when qualified drivers are unavailable.

The leader and follower trucks were provided by EASE Logistics who will also provide a highly qualified driver for the leader truck and a Safety Rider onboard the self-driving follower truck who can take over manual driving control at any time. The trucks were retrofitted by Kratos with self-driving technology to enable the Leader Follower Platooning operation. The system will be integrated as part of normal 24/7 supply chain activity hauling freight in 53-foot dry van trailers on short-haul routes for round-trip totals of 450 to 500 miles.

The Leader Follower Platoon consists of a human-driven Leader truck transmitting navigation and command data to a Follower truck enabled with self-driving technology. The technology enabling the deployment was adapted from systems Kratos originally developed for the U.S. Department of Defense leveraging proven architectures, advanced cyber security, and robust environmental hardening. The Leader Follower Platoon will be deployed with drivers from EASE Logistics who have completed an extensive and comprehensive training program conducted by Kratos.

Maynard Factor, VP of Business Development for the Kratos Unmanned Systems Division, said; “Kratos is excited to team with EASE Logistics to support this landmark Leader Follower Platoon deployment establishing the baseline for how driverless technology can be deployed in a game-changing configuration. The Leader Follower Platoon is a great adaptation of driverless vehicle technology that maintains driver jobs by pairing a human-driven truck with a self-driving follower truck to maintain or increase haul capacity depending on the available driver pool. Supply chain security is national security and using the Kratos Leader Follower Platoon is a solution that can strengthen a company’s ability to maintain jobs and secure supply chain activity as a win-win.”

Peter Coratola, Jr., President & CEO of EASE Logistics, added; “EASE is honored to serve as Kratos’ fleet partner for this groundbreaking deployment in partnership. We recognize this opportunity as an important step toward shoring up the supply chain, which is a critical component of national security. We look forward to collecting and providing data that will enable this crucial innovation to be deployed across the U.S.”

Posted by Joe Macey Connect & Contact