Einride bringing electric, autonomous vehicles to U.S.

Sweden’s Einride, an early developer of electric and highly autonomous vehicles in Europe, is coming to America – and it has already hired its first remote trucker.

The electric vehicle known as an Einride Pod features SAE Level 4 autonomous capabilities, meaning it can run without operator input under defined situations. There isn’t even a traditional truck cab. But the individual known as an Einride Pod Operator will oversee several vehicles at a time, and be able to take controls when human intervention is required.

Einride Pod
The Einride Pod builds on previous units designed for the European market. (Photo: Einride)

Other positions are promised. Einride says it will create 2,000 new jobs within its first five years in the U.S. Its headquarters will be established in New York, although regional offices are planned for Austin, Texas; San Francisco, Calif.; and the southeastern U.S.

The company’s technical partners include Ericsson and Siemens, and it counts customers including Bridgestone and GE Appliances. The tire maker previously announced it plans to use the trucks to shuttle tires between a plant in LaVergne, Tenn. and distribution center in Lebanon, Tenn. GE Appliances is putting the first of the autonomous Pods to work at a location in Louisville, Ky.

At this point, though, operations are limited to customer facilities rather than the open road.

Einride Pod Operator
Remote operators will oversee several units at a time, stepping in when human intervention is required. (Photo: Einride)

“The U.S. freight market is one of the most competitive, and to be an industry leader you need to play in this league,” Einride founder and CEO Robert Falck said in a related statement. “We have the technology and solution to bring the biggest change in the freight industry since the adoption of the diesel truck 100 years ago.”

Also included in the initial product lineup is the new Flatbed Pod, which can be adapted for different loads such as shipping containers.

Various technical systems have been unveiled along with the trucks themselves. Guiding the activity will be the new Einride Saga operating system, which shippers access through the Evolve app. Shipments are ordered and tracked via Einride’s Book system, and the work is overseen through Orchestrate. Data can be further crunched through the Explore system.

Einride prototypes were first showcased in Canada during the 2019 Movin’On Summit in Montreal.

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