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Einride, a freight technology company from Sweden, is working on converting truck driving to a desk job. Einride operates Europe’s largest fleet of electric trucks and began testing its autonomous “Pods” electric trucks and “Saga” operating system in the United States in early November.
Business Insider reports the trucks are not on public roads yet, but rather, starting in private freight yards.
The company introduced a new U.S. version of the Einride Pod as well as a new Flatbed Pod. Similar to the European version, the U.S. Pod will feature SAE level 4 self-driving technology. Its safety architecture makes it possible for the Pod to operate without a driver present in the vehicle.
The Flatbed Pod will act as a modular vehicle used for any kind of shipping needs.
To operate its electric and autonomous transportation, Einride hired a remote trucker, a position the company says is the first of its kind. The driver’s identity will be released at an event later this year. Einride hopes to create a minimum of 2,000 jobs in the first five years of its operations in the U.S.
The Einride Pod Operator’s duties will include monitoring the autonomous vehicles and intervening in the event of an emergency or if the vehicles run into a unique situation such as a construction zone or an accident.
The remote worker will be able to influence the vehicles through small knobs. A panoramic view of the Pod’s surroundings will allow the operator to judge situations. Each worker could observe up to 10 Pods simultaneously.
Such a development in shipping could help the U.S. market as it deals with supply chain issues including a shortage of truck drivers.
Image Credit: Einride