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Driverless electric truck starts deliveries on Swedish public road

PortandTerminal.com, May 17, 2019

Jönköping, Sweden – A Swedish startup called Einride has started testing its all-electric delivery truck on a public road in Sweden. As a part of a year-long trial, the Einride T-Pod truck started the first of what will be many daily freight deliveries this week in the city of Jönköping in Sweden.

Einride has had lots of good news lately. Last month the company announced that Marc Llistosella, former President and CEO of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corporation and Head of Daimler Trucks Asia, will join its board of directors. Mr Llistosella is also an investor in Einride.

The 26-ton Einride truck is operated entirely remotely via a 5G network — the vehicle doesn’t even have a driver cabin for a backup driver.

Several times a day, the T-Pod truck travels a distance of 300 meters from a warehouse to a freight terminal building. Einride says the test, due to conclude at the end of 2020, is the first time an autonomous truck with no backup driver has been allowed on a public road. While the T-Pod is capable of speeds of 53 miles per hour, the Swedish Transport Agency will only allow it to drive at a speed of three miles per hour during the test.

Photo: Einride CEO Robert Falck

Einride CEO Robert Falck thinks the public road permit is the first step to getting major freight companies on board with autonomous vehicle technology. Falck hopes to apply for more public road permits, with the possibility of expanding in the US next year.

“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,” Falck told Reuters.

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