Einride has completed a public road pilot of Einride’s autonomous, electric vehicle, in Selmer, Tennessee. After receiving the first U.S. approval for operations of this new type of vehicle from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earlier this year, Einride operated a fully autonomous, electric vehicle without a safety driver on board on U.S. public roads.
The pilot, in partnership with GE Appliances, took place over the duration of two weeks as the vehicle supported real-time workflows and transported finished goods from GE Appliances’ facilities.
“The completion of this pilot is a momentous step in the operations of autonomous heavy duty road freight in the U.S.,” said Robert Falck, CEO and founder at Einride, in a statement.
Working closely with state and county officials and GE Appliances staff, Einride was able to have its autonomous vehicle move goods between GE Appliances’ manufacturing facility and warehouse.
Einride also partnered with Ericsson, which provided a private connectivity network for seamless vehicle functionality and to enable a remote operator to monitor the vehicle. GE Appliances’ Selmer facility was chosen as the pilot launch site due to the nature of the environment for safe testing of operations while meeting the real demand for movement of goods, company officials said.
“In order to lead, you have to think ahead and think differently,” said Harry Chase, senior director of central materials for GE Appliances. “Working with Einride on this pilot on public roads in Tennessee helped us better envision and understand what we need to do differently to be at the forefront of autonomous and EV implementation. At GE Appliances, we believe you need to continuously experiment with new technology in order to learn.”
Einride operates electric vehicle fleets in Europe and the U.S., with the partnership with GE Appliances deploying both autonomous and electric vehicles starting in October 2021. Since then, GE Appliances has doubled its connected electric fleet of Einride Trucks and is leveraging Einride’s intelligent freight mobility platform, Einride Saga, to reduce emissions throughout its supply chains.