Automotive

Cabless autonomous electric truck approved for US public roads

Cabless autonomous electric truck approved for US public roads
With NHTSA approval for driving on public roads in the bag, Einride's cabless autonomous electric Pod will begin pilot operations at a GE Appliances manufacturing facility in the US from Q3 2022
With NHTSA approval for driving on public roads in the bag, Einride's cabless autonomous electric Pod will begin pilot operations at a GE Appliances manufacturing facility in the US from Q3 2022
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The Einride Pod will haul goods between warehouses, taking in public roads and mixed traffic situations as it goes
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The Einride Pod will haul goods between warehouses, taking in public roads and mixed traffic situations as it goes
With NHTSA approval for driving on public roads in the bag, Einride's cabless autonomous electric Pod will begin pilot operations at a GE Appliances manufacturing facility in the US from Q3 2022
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With NHTSA approval for driving on public roads in the bag, Einride's cabless autonomous electric Pod will begin pilot operations at a GE Appliances manufacturing facility in the US from Q3 2022
Though the Einride Pod has no cab, and therefore no human driver onboard, the vehicle will be remotely monitored by a human operator
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Though the Einride Pod has no cab, and therefore no human driver onboard, the vehicle will be remotely monitored by a human operator
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Freight technology company Einride first introduced its cabless autonomous electric T-pod truck back in 2017, which rolled on Swedish roads for the first time a couple of years later. Now the company has been given the green light for operation on public roads in the US.

A number of autonomous trucks have already rolled along public roads in US pilots, with these test vehicles either having a safety driver in the cab to take over should issues arise or being accompanied by a mobile support team.

In what Einride claims is a first, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has approved its purpose-built autonomous electric vehicle to operate on public roads in the US, and there'll be no driver in the cab as the Einride Pod doesn't have a cab.

The battery-electric Pod makes use of an onboard sensor suite comprising cameras, radars and LiDARs and will be monitored remotely by a human operator – which the company notes is "critical in safely scaling autonomous vehicles by keeping humans in the loop and creating jobs to fulfill a future way of shipping."

The Einride Pod will haul goods between warehouses, taking in public roads and mixed traffic situations as it goes
The Einride Pod will haul goods between warehouses, taking in public roads and mixed traffic situations as it goes

The public road pilot is due to start in Q3 of this year, where the vehicle will merge with existing fleet operations at a GE Appliances manufacturing facility and is expected to move goods between warehouses and operate on public roads in mixed traffic.

"We are creating a more sustainable and efficient supply chain through increased electrification and automation in our manufacturing and distribution operations," said GE Appliances' VP of Supply Chain, Bill Good. "We’ve appreciated working with Einride in demonstrating how their Pod technology can help us accelerate achievement of that goal."

Source: Einride

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13 comments
13 comments
dan
I mean technically, but in reality these are what would be considered service roads. Extremely low traffic, primarily owned by GE and other industries near.
paul314
Remote safety drive is likely one heck of a stressful job. Don't do anything, but concentrate fully. and know that even a second or two of inattention could kill someone. I wonder what they do when the wifi is down?
Pupp1
I imagine the remote safety monitors will have multiple vehicles to monitor at once. So, I hope they are not going to be set loose on public streets. As paul314 points out, going to be a challenge to keep attention. When you are personally in a vehicle, your attitude towards safety has a strong connection to your own life, and there can be enjoyment in driving itself. Two things that will not be there when you are behind a desk with multiple vehicles to monitor.
TedTheJackal
I want to see one of these get pulled over by an autonomous police car that makes it take a RAM test.
EUbrainwashing
It will not be long before these sort of cargo trucks are running on motorways/freeways where the variables are for less complicated. They can just trundle along at 40mph all together as a road train and terminate at depots near their relevant destinations where a human operative can do the complex onward urban task. For now. In time everything is possible. Remember the first ‘cars’ had to have a man with a red flag walking ahead of them.
Captain_Ian
This is fantastic news. The data clearly shows autonomous trucks are off-the-scale safer and more efficient than human drivers. This will improve road safety dramatically, improve productivity, as well as free up many people to pursue more fulfilling careers.
michael_dowling
They don't say what the Swede's experience was,safety wise. Autonomous systems should result in fewer accidents,as they won't have intoxicated/fatigued drivers.
D'Anconia
Remote safety driver sounds like nuclear reactor operator but with far less consequences if things go wrong.
DaveWesely
As far as autonomous vehicles go, this is a winning combination. It has become apparent that figuring out the "corners" is the hard part. Typical driving conditions are easy. Adding human oversight for abnormal conditions removes the "corner" issue.
Remotely monitoring cargo means truckers would have desk jobs, lunch breaks, and regular hours. The ability to monitor more than one truck means the pay should be better also.
Aross
The only concern I have with this is that we will lose more well paying jobs. These jobs mean that there will be no income taxes paid, the lost drivers and their families will no longer contribute to the economy. But the corporations will make larger profits for their investors but not pass the savings on to the consumer.
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