When Andrew Yang ran for President on a platform advocating universal basic income he warned us that self driving trucks would make truck drivers redundant. It seems that Warren Buffett, famously slow to invest in emerging tech, believes Yang was, or is, right.
Pilot Company, which is owned by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and is the largest operator of travel centers (which the rest of us call truck stops) in North America, has made a major investment in Kodiak Robotics, Inc., a self-driving trucking company that is already moving freight with driverless trucks, albeit with a “safety” driver onboard. Late last year a driverless truck made by TuSimple, successfully drove an 80-mile route in Arizona without a driver onboard.
Specifics on the size of the investment were not disclosed but Pilot is now the largest strategic investor in Kodiak and will have a seat on the company’s five member board of directors.
“In making this strategic investment, we understand that our customers have a need for real solutions that help address the growing demand to move goods and Kodiak is a strong leader in the autonomous trucking space.” said John Tully, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Pilot Company. “As we explore the future of autonomous trucks and how we can best support these customers, we will continue to be the travel center network that the trucking industry and professional drivers can count on for the services and care they need.”
Peter Page is the Contributions Editor at Grit Daily. Formerly at Entrepreneur.com, he began his journalism career as a newspaper reporter long before print journalism had even heard of the internet, much less realized it would demolish the industry. The years he worked a police reporter are a big influence on his world view to this day. Page has some degree of expertise in environmental policy, the energy economy, ecosystem dynamics, the anthropology of urban gangs, the workings of civil and criminal courts, politics, the machinations of government, and the art of crystallizing thought in writing.