Einride, a freight technology company providing digital, electric and autonomous shipping, has received approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to operate its Autonomous Electric Transport (AET) vehicles on US public roads. With this approval, Einride will conduct a public road pilot to support operational flows for customer GE Appliances, a Haier company, showcasing the Einride Pod’s purpose-built functionality for future commercialization. (Earlier post.)
The Pod—with no space for a driver—is the first all-electric, totally autonomous transport vehicle to operate on a public road.
The autonomous and electric Einride Pod’s design does not leave room for a driver on board and is instead remotely monitored by a Remote Pod Operator, marking this pilot as an industry first for this new type of vehicle.
The Einride Pod will operate on public roads with mixed traffic while executing real life workflows. This will include the movement of goods and coordinating with teams at various warehouses for loading and unloading.
A Remote Pod Operator will be remotely monitoring the vehicle at all times—a first of its kind role that Einride sees critical in safely scaling autonomous vehicles by keeping humans in the loop and creating jobs to fulfill a future way of shipping.
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 US soil in partnership with GEA in 2021.
Founded in 2016, Einride became the first company to deploy an autonomous, electric freight vehicle on a public road in 2019.