Kodiak Autonomous Truck - The Road to Autonomy

Autonomous Trucking is Closer Than You Think, With Favorable Regulations Already in Place

In 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) issued guidance through their AV 3.0 framework that specifically stated that going forward, federal trucking regulations from the FMCSA will no longer assume that a commercial vehicle driver must be a human present in the vehicle. This cleared the way for self-driving trucks to operate legally, as long as they comply with existing trucking regulations.

Dan Goff, Director of External Affairs, Kodiak Robotics joined The Road to Autonomy Founder Grayson Brulte to discuss the current regulatory landscape for autonomous trucks in the United States.

While in the long-term there will need to be new regulations crafted specifically for autonomous trucking, in the near-term, the existing rules provide a sufficient framework to begin deploying autonomous trucks in a compliant manner. Today, there are only a handful of regulations that don’t neatly apply, and the industry has been working to solve those lingering issues.

One key regulatory hurdle that Kodiak has worked on was developing an enhanced inspection program with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) that enables autonomous trucks to demonstrate an elevated level of vehicle safety checks compared to today’s methods. Enhanced inspections have helped build to confidence with law enforcement around autonomous trucking deployments.

Today, 25 U.S. States have passed laws enabling and regulating autonomous vehicle deployments, further validating their legal ability to operate autonomous trucks complying with applicable regulations.

While the patchwork of differing state laws is manageable currently, Dan believes eventually there will need to be a unified national regulatory framework governing autonomous trucking to enable broad interstate operations. But, the existing legal foundations for autonomous trucking deployments are in place today.


  • 0:00 Current State of Autonomous Trucking Regulations
  • 3:28 Enhanced Inspections
  • 8:52 Evolving Autonomous Trucking Regulatory Landscape
  • 11:48 Autonomous Trucking Misconceptions

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