THE tech that might just end the careers of truck drivers has crossed the Atlantic from Sweden and landed in the US. Soon they will take cargo and household goods with no one in the driver’s seat, because there is no driver’s seat.
The human being will be many kilometres away with his or her hands on a wheel and other controls. This will be made possible by a Swedish freight tech company Einride , which developed the autonomous electric transport pod, and a new trucking driving job, the world’s first Remote Pod Operator.
According to media reports the company will start its operations in the US. The Einride company founder and CEO Robert Falck announced that the company has signed agreements with technical partners such as Ericsson and Siemens as well as customers Oatly, Bridgestone and GE Appliances, a Haier company.
Commenting on the reasons for starting in the US, Falck indicated that “the innovative spirit of the US is the standard by which all others are measured, and the American transportation market is the biggest in the world”.
“The US freight market is one of the most competitive and to be an industry leader you need to play in this league. We have the technology and solution to bring the biggest change in the freight industry since the adoption of the diesel truck 100 years ago.”
Einride, who already operates Europe’s largest fleet of electric trucks and works with industry giants including Coca-Cola, SKF, and Lidl in Europe, has set an example that the transformation to electric, autonomous freight transportation can be made easy and cost-effective. Since October 1 last year Einride’s partners have seen a 90% decrease in CO2 emissions with electrical transport while matching the cost of diesel.
In addition to bringing its electric and autonomous transportation solutions to some of the biggest names in their respective industries, Einride has also hired the world’s first remote trucker to show how autonomous freight transport improves working conditions and creates a new type of job, Einride pod operator.
The proliferation of electric and autonomous transport creates jobs across the supply chain – from electric infrastructure installation and maintenance to the widespread construction of 5G networks, while also creating new types of jobs such as the role of the remote pod operator, which involves the oversight and control of multiple pods in real time by one individual from a central location.
In contrast to conventional trucking, it’s argued that remote operation will be safer, involve more regular hours and provide a more hospitable work environment.