JONKOPING, SWEDEN / BARCELONA, SPAIN - This driverless electric truck in Sweden began daily freight deliveries on public roads on Wednesday (May 15), in what its creators have described as a "world first".
When full, the Einride T-Pod delivery truck is 26 tons of autonomous efficiency.
There is no space for a human driver although a human operator can remotely control the vehicle if it gets confused.
Start-up Einride is working alongside logistics giant DB Schenke to create the automated, zero-emission delivery service.
Reuters' Ilze Filks witnessed the first run: "It was only a short drive down a public road from their warehouse to the distribution centre, but it's significant, says Einride, because this is a world first. And this will give information to potential customers, as well as Schenker about how to set up and plan their distribution in the future."
Einride estimates its T-Pod reduces road freight operating costs by around 60 per cent versus a diesel truck with a driver.
The company is also in partnership talks with big suppliers to help scale up production and orders and the firm hasn't ruled out the possibility of future tie-ups with large truckmakers.
Although Einride's remit is currently small - its founders say the company is hoping to gain access to more public routes, and expand in the United States.
Schenker picked Einride over more established truckmakers - underpinning its ambition to have 200 vehicles in operation by the end of 2020.
Freight operators are under pressure to reduce delivery times, cut down on emissions, and resolve a growing shortage of drivers.