WASHINGTON D.C. The unique-looking “T-Pod” design of the Einride all-electric autonomous truck is going to be engaged in road testing later this spring in Sweden. It will be deployed in warehouse-to-warehouse delivery operations for a major grocery store chain outside the city of Gotenberg.
Shown off at the 97th annual Transportation Research Board meeting being held here in the nation’s capital, Einride’s Henrik Sundstrom told Fleet Owner that the range of the Level 4 autonomous Einride should top 125 miles and it can be piloted by remote control if need be.
Unveiled last year, the 23-ft. long Einride trucks are designed to hold roughly 15 pallets of freight and will weigh about 20 tons when fully loaded.
Sundstrom noted that company designed the Einride to be roughly the size of pup freight trailers, so they can fit in and out of tight areas more easily compared to larger freight-carrying units. He added that they are also designed to be “linked” together via platooning technology to create longer combination vehicles.
The initial plan is to deploy the Einride into freight operations where routes are fixed and predictable with little to no pedestrian traffic; thus why warehouse-to-warehouse deliveries will be its first testing ground.
The company’s near-term goal is to deploy a total fleet of some 200 “T-Pods” into freight-hauling service by 2020.
The name “Einride” is actually a play on words as it is a descriptive of the Norse god Thor, meaning “one who rides alone.” There is a second connection to Thor, since he is the “god of thunder,” also wielding lightning as part of his mythological powers – electricity which is, of course, what powers the Einride.
Finally, the “Ram’s head” logo on the front of the Einride is again connected to Thor, as the Norse god traditionally rode into battle on a chariot pulled by two rams.