Photo Credit: Einride
Swedish freight tech company Einride has joined hands with GE Appliances to launch its slick self-driving electric trucks in the US. The Pod trucks have no driver cabins and are remotely controlled. Einride, which has been operating internationally since 2019, will initially provide six electric and one autonomous pod to GE for operation at its locations in Tennessee, Georgia, and Kentucky. The autonomous pod will initially operate at GE Appliances' 750-acre campus in Louisville. But more venues are expected to be added later.
The partnership serves as a model for other companies to include electric vehicles (EVs) and automated trucks in their fleet for reducing emissions. It will be the first time autonomous and electric trucks will operate in the US, Einride claimed. The companies said that the partnership would be helpful in mitigating environmental concerns, saving GE Appliances 970 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the first year.
“This marks an important milestone for the freight industry in the US, as it's the first time an autonomous, electric, and remote-operated pod system is being installed on the scale in North America,” said Robert Falck, CEO, Einride.
Engineers can remotely control the pods from their offices on the GE campus. There are concerns, however, that autonomous vehicles can eat into the jobs of truck drivers. "At GE Appliances, we believe in always finding a better way and striving to be on the forefront of innovation,” said Bill Good, vice president of manufacturing at GE Appliances. The partnership and technology investment with Einride will allow GE Appliances to deploy “safer, more sustainable, and cost-effective solutions” for the movement and transportation of material, Good added.
Einride is a leading freight technology company. Since its founding in 2016, the company claims that it has helped reduce customer carbon dioxide emissions by 94 percent. GE Appliances started making products such as refrigerators, freezers, and similar products in 1907.