TRTA - Kodiak Autonomous Truck

Interacting with Law Enforcement

Brett Fabbri, Head of Law Enforcement Policy and Highway Safety, Kodiak Robotics joined Grayson Brulte on The Road to Autonomy podcast to discuss how law enforcement interacts with autonomous trucks.

The conversation begins with Brett discussing his 30-year career in law enforcement and how a ride-along with his cousin led to a career in law enforcement.

At that time I was hooked. This is great. This is a very rewarding career.

– Brett Fabbri

Law enforcement plays a key role in the local community from interacting with business owners and residents of the community to keeping the community safe while simultaneously building trust with the community.

Community engagement is the entire key to everything that law enforcement does. We are kind of guardians of the community.

– Brett Fabbri

The California Highway Patrol covers 186,000 miles. With the coverage map being so vast, engaging with the local community could be challenging, but that is not the case for the CHP. Brett explains how the California Highway Patrol interacts with the local community through area offices that function similar to local police stations.

During his time at the California Highway Patrol, Brett served as the Special Services Commander for Northern California where he oversaw the commercial enforcement unit and the motor carrier safety unit for all of Northern California. It was in this role, that Brett was first introduced to autonomous vehicles.

From the California Highway Patrol to autonomous trucks, Grayson asks Brett what he saw in the market when he decided to retire from law enforcement and join Kodiak Robotics. Brett saw the opportunity to build upon law enforcement’s mission of saving lives.

In the end, this has the potential to save lives. In my law enforcement career that is where it all starts – saving lives and now it continues on with Kodiak.

– Brett Fabbri

As Kodiak prepares to scale, the company has to build trust and credibility in the industry, the local communities and the law enforcement community where Kodiak operates. Maintaining trust is key and Brett explains how Kodiak maintain that trust using his 30-year experience in community building.

Everyday in local communities there are thousands of trucks being inspected for safety with 20% of those trucks failing inspection, creating a potential hazard on the nation’s roadways. This is a hazard that autonomous trucks will be able to solve.

We are taking all the emotion out of driving.

– Brett Fabbri

With autonomous trucks on the verge of scaling nationwide, Grayson asks Brett what his peers in law enforcement think about autonomous trucks.

They have a lot of good questions. They want to know about traffic stops, collisions and how inspections processes are going to work.

– Brett Fabbri

With lots of questions, it is important to have an open line of communication with law enforcement to ensure there are no surprises and those officers know which companies are operating autonomous trucks in their jurisdiction.

Officers need to know how to pull over an autonomous truck with no safety driver on-board. This process has to be documented by the autonomous trucking company and shared with local law enforcement where the trucks are operating.

Then there is the question of what happens if the autonomous truck is involved in a crash.

If one of our vehicles is involved in an accident, that Kodiak truck will notify the operations center that will notify law enforcement that there has been a collision. That Kodiak truck will be programed to move to the right shoulder or to a safe location, unless it becomes disabled because of the collision.

– Brett Fabbri

The amount of data the trucks gather from LiDAR, cameras and sensors will assist law enforcement when they investigate the incident. This is one of the positives that will come out of a potential crash.

To achieve all of these positives, a Law Enforcement Interaction Plan has to be developed, implemented and shared with law enforcement.

We are working with law enforcement as we develop the plan, because we want to make it a collaborative effort and we want it to be successful. We want it to be comprehensive.

– Brett Fabbri

Wrapping up the conversation, Brett discusses what has to be done from a law enforcement perspective as Kodiak scales to multiple states.

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Recorded on Tuesday, March 22, 2022