Einride is launching the next generation of its electric and self-driving ‘Pod’ cargo vehicle. Available on the global market for the first time, this series of Autonomous Electric Transport (AET) vehicles, ranging from AET 1 to AET 4, has been designed and developed for SAE Level 4 self-driving. The Swedish company said it will enable businesses to reduce transport costs by up to 60% and CO2 emissions by 90%.
The AET’s architecture and intelligent routing software allows for safe operations without a driver, with additional proprietary remote operations technology where one remote operator can supervise multiple Pods. In fact, the Pods do not have a space for a driver.
All four versions of the AET pods being introduced are a rigid 6x2 configuration with a 26-ton GVW, 16-ton payload capacity, and the ability to carry 15 pallets. They have an operating range of 130-180 km, or about 80-112 miles.
AET 1 and 2 are available for pre-order now and expected to be available as soon as early 2021. AET 1 is suitable for closed, fenced facilities, while AET 2 is designed for “nearby” operations such as in harbors and on local public roads.
The AET 3 and 4, scheduled to be available starting in 2023, will boast high-speed functionality suited to long-distance highways and larger warehouses.
Einride called the Pod an environmentally and health-friendly alternative to diesel-powered trucks. Equipped with cameras, lidars and radars, it has 360-degree awareness of its surroundings, removing the need for a driver and resulting in no blind spots.
With this technology, the Pods can operate independently, do not require platooning, and are able to pull into and connect to charging stations along the routes on their own.
Earlier this year, Einride for the first time publicly demonstrated how remote operators can monitor and control multiple autonomous, electric Pods from a single remote drive station. As autonomous electric transport vehicles such as the Einride Pod are introduced into a freight network, Einride said at that time, transport managers will be able to employ operators who will monitor and control these driverless vehicles from a remote drive station, starting with two vehicles and eventually expanding up to as many as 10.
Last year, Einride Pods started daily freight deliveries in a test with D.B. Schenker in Sweden.
Einride was founded in 2016 by Robert Falck, Linnéa Kornehed and Filip Lilja, and said it was the world’s first company to operate an autonomous, all-electric freight vehicle on a commercial route on a public road.