Driverless electric truck hits Swedish roads

A driverless electric truck began daily freight deliveries on a public road in Sweden on Wednesday, in what developer Einride and logistics customer DB Schenker described as a world first.

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.