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Weekend edition August 25, 2023 | Shannon Smith

News Roundup | Cybersecurity, autonomous trucks, and birthday cake

Here’s your weekly roundup of business news from throughout the Knoxville region.

Pilot Company, Kodiak Robotics open inaugural port for autonomous trucks

Kodiak Robotics, Inc., a leading self-driving trucking company, and Pilot Company, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, announce the opening of their inaugural truckport.

The facility, located at the Pilot Travel Center in Villa Rica, Georgia, will be used by Kodiak to launch and land autonomous trucks and will serve as a convenient hub for drivers to pick up and drop off first- and last-mile deliveries. The Villa Rica truckport will support Kodiak’s 18,000-mile-long autonomous deployment network, the industry’s largest and most robust set of mapped routes for self-driving trucks.

“Partnering with Pilot Company to build the Villa Rica truckport ensures that we have access to the truckport services we need, utilizing Pilot’s industry-leading travel center network,” said Don Burnette, founder and CEO of Kodiak Robotics. “This partnership, combined with Kodiak’s flexible technology stack, enables our scalable, asset-light approach to building our truckport network. The freight lane between Dallas and Atlanta is critical to the nation’s supply chain and economy, and this truckport enables us to refine our operations model as we continue to grow.”

UTK launches new online cybersecurity masters program

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has launched its Master of Science in Business Cybersecurity (MSBC) online degree program, which is currently accepting applications for a spring 2024 start. The program was established in partnership with Noodle, higher education’s leading strategy, services, and technology partner.‍

Employing both synchronous and asynchronous instruction, the online MSBC program trains students in essential cybersecurity tenets. Inspired by industry trends and academic research, the curriculum teaches business leaders to protect their companies’ critical assets and, by extension, the economy, through proactive business strategies that address cybersecurity opportunities and challenges.

The MSBC program was designed for committed individuals pursuing an advanced understanding of cybersecurity and business with the goal of becoming leaders in their field. The degree program intentionally seeks applicants with unconventional backgrounds by removing barriers to entry such as standardized testing. The school is committed to enabling access to the program through scholarships and financial aid.

Muse Knoxville to hold special 10th birthday event

Beloved children’s STEM center Muse Knoxville will hold a celebration for its 10th birthday all day on Tuesday, August 29.

Kids and families can enjoy birthday-themed activities and stations throughout the museum, including a party hat decorating station. A traditional cake-cutting will take place at 1:30 p.m., featuring a donated cake from VG’s Bakery.

The admission price for the day has been lowered to $10, encouraging more families to join in on the fun.

Smith & Wesson announces grand opening of Maryville headquarters

Gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson will open its new headquarters in Maryville on October 7 with a day-long grand opening event running from noon to 8 p.m.

Food & drink vendors, shooting demonstrations from Smith & Wesson Pro Shooters, a silent auction, public shooting range access, and 30+ industry vendors will be onsite throughout the day.

This is a ticketed event. Passes go on sale on September 1 at 9:00 a.m. in limited quantities. Passes are $25 per person, with free entry for children 12 and under. All proceeds are being donated to the following local Tennessee Charities: Alcoa City School Foundation, Maryville City School Foundation, Blount County Educational Foundation, Honor Air Knoxville, and Second Harvest Food Bank.

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