Textron Systems Collaborates with Kodiak to Develop Uncrewed Military Vehicle

May 20, 2024

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

HUNT VALLEY, Md. and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (May 20, 2024) 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.

“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.

About Kodiak Robotics, Inc.
Kodiak Robotics, Inc. was founded in 2018 and has become the trusted world leader in autonomous ground transportation committed to a safer and more efficient future for all. The company is developing an industry-leading artificial intelligence (AI) powered technology stack purpose-built for driverless military and long-haul trucking applications. Kodiak’s unique modular hardware approach integrates sensors into a streamlined sensor-pod structure that optimizes for perception, scalability, and maintainability. The company delivers freight daily for its customers across the South, using its autonomous technology. Kodiak also leverages its commercial self-driving software to develop, test and deploy autonomous capabilities for the U.S. Department of Defense. Learn more about Kodiak on the web at kodiak.ai, and on LinkedIn and Twitter. You can find the company press kit HERE.

About Textron Systems
Textron Systems is a world leader in uncrewed air, surface and land products, services and support founded on the combined expertise in our family of brands that includes Textron Systems, Howe & Howe, Lycoming, and ATAC. We harness the unlimited power of teamwork to solve incredible problems across seven specialized domains: air, land, sea, propulsion, weapon systems, electronic systems and test, training & simulation. From product development and manufacturing to training, operations and support, we integrate and offer ingenious and advanced solutions to support defense, aerospace, and other customer missions. For more information, visit www.textronsystems.com.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.  

Forward-Looking Information
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the efficacy of research and development investments to develop new products or unanticipated expenses or delays in connection with the launching of significant new products or programs; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; and risks related to U.S. Government contracts as described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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