IKEA has partnered up with Kodiak Robotics to use self-driving trucks according to a The U.S. Sun article which reports,
“Kodiak Robotics currently has a heavy-duty truck completing Ikea deliveries seven days a week.
Kodiak Robotics’s truck travels between the Ikea distribution center in Baytown, Texas, and the Ikea retail store in Frisco, Texas.
A professional safety truck driver picks up a trailer at the Baytown distribution center and monitors the delivery that’s complete by late afternoon.”
Members of the Greater Houston Trucking Association have expressed their concern on IKEA’s decision to use self-driving trucks for deliveries in the future, stating that this may lead to job losses and wage decreases according to a Houston Public Media article. They say,
“Still, the initiative is worrisome for the 150-plus trucking companies, drivers and other industry-related personnel who are members of the Greater Houston Trucking Association (GHTA).
“We at the GHTA are opposed to self-driving trucks for the following reasons: loss of jobs and depression of wages,” said Liz Castillo, the founder and president of the organization. “Since 1980, the earnings of truckers have been going down. This is why we have a shortage of drivers.””
Kodiak Robotics says that the purpose of the partnership with IKEA is for them to understand how their technology contributes to road safety and improved working conditions for drivers.