Einride is a Swedish company founded in 2016 to promote more efficient freight distribution through advanced digital management tools. It also explores ways to decarbonize the world of freight by using electric vehicles to move shipping containers around in freight terminals. In March, it signed an agreement with Maersk, the largest sea freight company in the world, to put into use 300 semi-electric tractors that transport freight to its North American warehousing, distribution and transportation business.
Now, Einride says it has received approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to begin testing its autonomous electric transport vehicle on U.S. roads. AET is one of the strangest things seen on any highway anywhere. It is basically a driverless pallet mover designed to transport a standard shipping container from point A to point B without any human driver on board. However, there will be a human controller that remotely monitors the operation of the vehicle.
This is the first time a custom-built autonomous electric truck without a driver on board has been licensed to use public roads in the United States. Einride will conduct a test of AET on public roads in Tennessee later this year in partnership with GE Appliances. The test program will support GE’s operational flows and demonstrate Einride Pod’s custom-built functionality for future commercialization.
The autonomous electric truck does not have room for a driver on board, as it is built without a traditional front cab. It is remotely monitored by a remote pod operator, making this pilot an industry first for this new type of vehicle. Einride says it sees the operator as “critical in the safe scaling of autonomous vehicles by keeping people in the loop and creating jobs to meet a future way of sailing.”
The Einride Pod will operate on public roads with mixed traffic while performing real workflows, including moving goods and coordinating with teams at various warehouses for loading and unloading.
“This is a type of vehicle that has never been seen on American roads before and marks a major milestone as a turning point for the future of the freight industry. We know that the autonomous and electrical technology in our pod will not only revolutionize transportation, but also create thousands jobs and help America stay competitive, ”says Robert Falck, CEO of Einride. Inside electric cars.
Bill Good, Vice President of Supply Chain Operations at GE Appliances, adds: “We are creating a more sustainable and efficient supply chain through increased electrification and automation in our manufacturing and distribution activities. We have appreciated working with Einride to demonstrate how their Pod technology can help us speed up the achievement of this goal. “
Einride AET may look differently worldly to most of us, but that’s the form of things to come. Human drivers need places to sleep and eat, both of which cost money. A self-driving vehicle never sleeps, never reports sick or asks for a day off to take children to the beach. In theory, one human controller will be able to control several of these autonomous vehicles at a time, further reducing the overall cost to shipping companies. A brave new world of self-driving electric vehicles is dawning, and Einride is at the forefront of the next revolution in truck driving.
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