Einride’s T-Pod, an all-electric driverless truck, has started making deliveries on a stretch of public road in Sweden. Einride and customer DB Schenker are calling the deliveries the first of their kind in the world.
Looking a bit like a zamboni, or perhaps more accurately a shipping container on wheels, T-Pod is a Level 4 self-driving vehicle that can be controlled remotely by a human operator if need be. It’s equipped with multiple cameras, radars, and lidars.
T-Pod has an electronically limited top speed of 85 km/h (53 mph), but during this testing period of initial deliveries, the Swedish Transport Agency has limited its speed to a glacial 5 km/h (3 mph). The vehicle uses a 200 kWh battery, which Einride claims can take T-Pod up to 200 km (124 miles) on one charge. When fully loaded, T-Pod weighs 26 tons.
For now, T-Pod is only traveling a short stretch of public road between a warehouse and a terminal. Einride’s permit for T-Pod to operate on the short, slow trip is valid until the end of 2020.
Einride CEO Robert Falck said the public road permit is a major milestone. He also told Reuters the company is in partnership talks with major suppliers:
“Since we’re a software and operational first company, a partnership with a manufacturing company is something that we see as a core moving forward.”
Falck also said the company would be looking for more public permits, and Einride has an eye on US expansion. He said, “Ground zero for autonomous vehicles is the United States. I think it will be the first market to scale when it comes to autonomous vehicles.”
Last year, Einride unveiled another all-electric, autonomous truck — T-Log, a logging truck. T-Log is an adaptation of T-Pod for logging purposes, and it has the same general specs.
To get a look at T-Pod in action, check out the video below:
And here are a few more photos for a better all-around view of T-Pod:
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