A Swedish automotive startup has unveiled a peek at the future of autonomous trucking-- as of right now. On July 4, Einride rolled out its new T Pod concept truck during the Almedalsveckan Week event in Visby, Sweden. The new truck is a 23-foot long, 4,000-pound straight truck capable of hauling 15 pallets worth of cargo in urban delivery applications.
The T Pod is interesting firstly because it is an all-electric design with an estimated range of 124 miles on one charge, and secondly because it is a fully autonomous design. There is no driver in the T Pod. In fact, there is not even cab for a driver to sit in. Einride has designed the T Pod from the ground up as a completely driverless vehicle.
The company said that, initially, the T Pod can be controlled remotely by human drivers, although it is working to establish the necessary infrastructure and support elements that will eventually allow the truck to operate completely autonomously without any active human input whatsoever.
According to reporting from The Verge, Einride is planning to develop a complete autonomous transport network complete with charging stations connecting the Swedish cities of Gothenburg and Helsingborg by 2020.
Eventually, the company said, it will have as many as 200 T Pod trucks working the route capable of handling up to 2 million pallets of cargo annually. According to Einride, T Pod models on this route would save the equivalent carbon-dioxide emissions of 400,000 passenger cars annually.