Einride, the Swedish-based transport company, has disclosed its plans for a new vehicle, which will be self-driven and autonomous. If all goes well, this vehicle could be on the roads transporting freight sometime next year. Called as Autonomous Electric Transport (AET), these vehicles come in four different types. And as these vehicles are supposed to be driverless and automatic, these would come minus the steering wheels, pedals, windshields, and a cab, which are otherwise present within vehicles driven by a driver.
Einride, which evolved in 2016, has been unveiling unique and interesting automobiles since then. Sometime in 2017, it launched the T-Pod, the one that came without a cab. Presently, about four variants of T-Pod are running errands in transporting goods and essentials for Oatly, a food manufacturing firm based out of Sweden. A year later, Einride went on to release T-Log, which had a lot more power than T-Pod, such that it could drag loads of big-sized tree logs. And now, it plans on launching a gen-next vehicle, which may soon go into the production phase.
Einride is also involved in testing its vehicles’ functionality and obtaining the required regulatory approvals for the same. All of these vehicles are completely electric, and they can be controlled with manual intervention with the aid of a remote, apart from being automatic and self-driven. The company has not stated anything about how and when it plans to go about with the production and manufacturing phases.
As far as the AET design is concerned, it is quite similar to T-Pod’s design. The AET vehicles look quite slim, come in white color, and come without a cab. The overall vehicle finish is quite smooth, thereby giving it an elegant look. Robert Falck, CEO of Einride, stated that AET is more aerodynamic than Einride’s previous pod versions.
The AET vehicles have four variants. These are denoted as AET 1, AET 2, AET 3, and AET 4, respectively. AET 1 and AET 2 can run at a maximum speed of 30km/h (18 mph), have a weight of about 26 tons and a payload of about 16 tons. The battery within these vehicles can last for up to 130-180 km. For AET 3 and AET 4, the weight and the payload attribute are the same as that of AET 1 and AET 2. AET 3 can run at a maximum speed of 45 km/h, while AET 4 can catch a maximum of 85 km/h.
The factor that differentiates these four variants is the domain in which they operate and the factors that enable their automatic operation. Here is how it works: AET 1 runs within a selected geographical region. AET 2 can move outside the specified area with the aid of teleoperation. AET 3 can be driven within rural areas, while AET 4 can be driven on major roads like highways.
Einride also states that all of its vehicles would bring down transportation prices by about 60%. The carbon emissions would also be down by almost 90%.
Einride has been making a lot of money by manufacturing driverless vehicles. In 2019, it managed to raise about $25 million. A few days back, all of its existing investors together pitched in about $10 million for the company. Recently, Einride showcased a demo where multiple pods could be controlled with a single human being, the traffic controller.
Einride also claims to make use of Nvidia’s driverless software, with an intention of achieving Level 4 driving, where the vehicle will be self-driven under specific scenarios.
Image source: TheVerge