Einride's Autonomous Electric Transport vehicle has no cab for a driver.  -  Photo: Einride

Einride's Autonomous Electric Transport vehicle has no cab for a driver.

Photo: Einride

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given its approval for a new type of autonomous vehicle — one with no cab for a driver — to operate on U.S. public roads.

Einride will conduct a public road pilot of its Autonomous Electric Transport (AET) vehicles to support its customer, GE Appliances.

The autonomous and electric Einride Pod design does not leave room for a driver on board and is instead remotely monitored by a Remote Pod Operator, marking this pilot as an industry first for this new type of vehicle, according to the company.

The Einride Pod will operate on public roads with mixed traffic while executing real-life workflows, including the movement of goods and coordinating with teams at warehouses for loading and unloading. A Remote Pod Operator will be remotely monitoring the vehicle at all times. Einride sees this new type or role as critical in safely scaling autonomous vehicles by keeping humans in the loop and creating jobs.The public road pilot, which will take place in the third quarter of this year, will be done at a GE Appliances manufacturing facility to complement other existing operations already in place. Einride was the first to have a fleet of operational autonomous and electric vehicles on U.S. soil in partnership with GEA in 2021.

This pilot follows one in 2019 where Einride’s Pod was the first autonomous, electric vehicle to operate on a public road in the world.

“This is a type of vehicle that has never before been seen on U.S. roads and marks a major milestone as a turning point for the future of the freight industry,” said Robert Falck, CEO and founder at Einride, in a news release. “We know the autonomous and electric technology of our pod will not only revolutionize transportation but also create thousands of jobs and help America stay competitive.”

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