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Driverless cargo trucks cleared to hit the roads in US

"A future way of shipping.”

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By Dean Murray via SWNS

The future of cargo trucks has been cleared to hit the road, and they come WITHOUT a driver or cab.

The Einride Pod, a driverless cargo truck. (Einride via SWNS)

U.S authorities have rubber-stamped the Einride Pod to operate on public roads with mixed traffic as it makes its rounds.

Freight technology company Einride say the approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration marks the first time a purpose-built autonomous, electric truck without a driver on board has received public road permission.

The autonomous and electric vehicle’s design does not leave room for a driver on board and is instead monitored by a so-called Remote Pod Operator, marking this pilot as an industry first for this new type of vehicle.

Duties for the Pod will include the movement of goods and coordinating with teams at various warehouses for loading and unloading.

The Remote Pod Operator, described as "a first of its kind role," monitors the vehicle at all times.

Einride states they believe it is critical in safely scaling autonomous vehicles to keep "humans in the loop" to create "jobs to fulfill a future way of shipping.”

“This is a type of vehicle that has never before been seen on U.S. roads and marks a major milestone as a turning point for the future of the freight industry,” said Robert Falck, CEO and Founder at Einride.

“We know the autonomous and electric technology of our pod will not only revolutionize transportation but also create thousands of jobs and help America stay competitive.”

With this approval, Einride will conduct a public road pilot to support operational flows for customer GE Appliances, showcasing the Einride Pod’s purpose-built functionality for future commercialization.

U.S authorities have rubber-stamped the Einride Pod to operate on public roads with mixed traffic as it makes its rounds. (Einride via SWNS)

The public road pilot, which will take place in Q3 of 2022, will be done at a GE Appliances manufacturing facility to complement other existing operations already in place together.

Einride was the first to have a fleet of operational autonomous and electric vehicles on U.S. soil in partnership with GEA in 2021.

“We are creating a more sustainable and efficient supply chain through increased electrification and automation in our manufacturing and distribution operations,” said Bill Good, Vice President of Supply Chain for GE Appliances.

“We’ve appreciated working with Einride in demonstrating how their Pod technology can help us accelerate the achievement of that goal.”

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