This company will be the first to do so in the US
The trucks will be monitored by Remote Pod Operators
A partnership with GE will see the vehicles used to transport appliances from the factory
Einride will become the first company to test its autonomous pod-like trucks on American roads since the NHTSA gave its approval of the project.
This Swedish freight technology company has been working on electric and autonomous trucks to deliver cargo around cities for a few years now and it became the first company in the world to test such vehicles without a driver on public roads.
Now, Einride will add another milestone to its relatively short history by being the first to do the same in the US.
The vehicles that will be tested by the company are pod-type trucks that look somewhat like a big rectangular box sitting on a frame with six wheels.
This design maximizes the space that can be used for cargo and with the lack of a passenger cab and a combustion engine, most of the footprint of the truck is dedicated to the load space.
This makes these types of trucks better suited to the cities since they can be smaller than conventional trucks despite being able to carry as much cargo.
The company partnered with GE Appliances, which is why the on-road tests will be conducted near that company’s factories, where the trucks have been used for on-site jobs since last year.
The element that most likely granted Einride the approval of the NHTSA while many other autonomous driving companies are still waiting is that its vehicles will be monitored by employees.
Indeed, Einride has trained a number of employees to become Remote Pod Operators and their job will be to monitor a number of pod trucks and take control of them if an emergency occurs, all while being in their office, nowhere near the vehicle.
This way, the pod trucks are in control most of the time, and valuable real-world experience is gained by the company but a human is there to take control and prevent an accident if the autonomous systems fail.