Textron Systems Collaborates with Kodiak to Develop Uncrewed
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May 21, 2024

Textron Systems Collaborates with Kodiak to Develop Uncrewed Military Vehicle

  • The companies are collaborating on the development of an uncrewed military vehicle intended for advanced terrain environments and designed without space for a driver

Textron Systems Corporation, a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, a leading developer of crewed and uncrewed military ground vehicles, and Kodiak Robotics, Inc., a leading self-driving technology developer for the trucking and defense markets, announced today that they are collaborating to develop an autonomous military ground vehicle specifically designed for driverless operations. Through this collaboration, Kodiak will integrate its industry-leading autonomous system, the Kodiak Driver, into a Textron Systems prototype, purpose-built uncrewed military vehicle. This collaboration also marks Kodiak’s first integration of its autonomous technology into a vehicle designed without space for a human driver.  

Textron Systems has extensive experience in developing air, land and sea vehicles. The collaboration between the company, a leader in military ground vehicles, and Kodiak, a dual-use autonomous driving company for military and commercial applications, represents a unique model for bringing cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) powered, autonomous technologies to military customers. It also demonstrates the readiness of the Kodiak Driver for driverless operations as well as its adaptability to a diverse range of vehicle types, both on- and off-road.

The system being developed by the companies will operate using the same core technology that’s embedded within Kodiak’s autonomous long-haul trucks, which have been validated across nearly 3 million miles of real-world operations. The vehicle will also feature Kodiak DefensePods, an adapted version of Kodiak’s modular, swappable SensorPods, designed for military use. DefensePods are pre-calibrated, pre-built hardware enclosures that include the sensors necessary for autonomous driving. A technician without specialized training can swap out a DefensePod in the field in 10 minutes or less.

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“Textron Systems has designed, developed and manufactured military ground vehicle systems for decades. Joining forces with Kodiak allows us to bring cutting-edge autonomous technology to our industry-leading uncrewed military ground vehicle systems, progressing the functionality, adaptability, reliability and ruggedness of our technologies,” said Textron Systems’ David Phillips, Senior Vice President, Land and Sea Systems. “Integrating our vehicle with Kodiak’s AI-powered autonomy software and pioneering modular DefensePods represents a major step forward in delivering a mission-ready autonomous system.”

The companies intend to integrate Kodiak’s technology into the Textron Systems uncrewed military vehicle and demonstrate driverless operations later in 2024. Afterwards, Textron Systems and Kodiak intend to jointly explore future opportunities with both the U.S. DoD and the militaries of other allied nations, as they look to accelerate automation into military ground vehicles. Deploying uncrewed vehicles to perform high-risk and complex tasks in the field will assist the U.S. military in removing servicemen and women from harm’s way, while enhancing national security.

“The future of autonomous military ground vehicles is dual-use technology developers like Kodiak working with industry leaders like Textron Systems,” said Don Burnette, founder and CEO, Kodiak. “Collaborating with Textron Systems will allow us to showcase the capabilities of Kodiak’s AI-powered, driverless technology in military, off-road environments. Together, we can bring new capabilities to ground systems, supporting the warfighter at the speed of relevance.”

Kodiak’s collaboration with Textron Systems builds on the company’s expansion to diversify applications of the Kodiak Driver for military vehicles. In December 2023, Kodiak unveiled its first autonomous test vehicle designed specifically for the DoD, a Ford F-150 upfit with Kodiak’s autonomous technology.

Textron Systems has over three decades of experience in uncrewed land, air and sea systems, from design to integration to production. Having supported multiple military programs of record, Textron Systems builds on a mature, proven history in supporting the DoD and our allies. By collaborating with Kodiak, Textron Systems gains access to industry-leading autonomy capabilities, alongside its deep expertise in crewed and uncrewed vehicles.

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