Swedish Einride is developing a completely new logistics system where a key component is their self-driving electric truck Pod. Today, the company's founder and CEO Robert Falck presented four new versions of Pod.
So far, Pod has been used in two different scenarios that the company referred to as AET 1 and AET 2. AET 1 means that Pod can be used in a smaller area, such as an industrial area on private roads, where the speed is up to 19 mph, or 30 km/h. The second scenario means that the Pod can be used on short road sections even on public roads, such as between warehouses, within a slightly larger area.
Pod now ready for the highway
What has now been launched is the possibility for Pod to be used in scenarios AET 3 and AET 4 where the vehicle is driven at higher speeds on public roads. AET 3 applies to public roads and 28 mph, or 45 km/h, while AET 4 applies to highways and 53 mph, or 85 km/h.
So what does it cost and when is the Pod available? The difference from other manufacturers of autonomous trucks is that Einride not only wants to produce the truck itself but the entire system that can autonomously operate an electric logistics fleet. The business model is also different because the trucks are not sold but are operated in a fleet by Einride. Sort of a autonomous electrical logistics as a service.
With that said, Pod with AET 1 and 2 can be pre-booked now with delivery next year. Once in operation, they then cost around $18000 a month. The cost includes Einride's freight management platform and access to operators who remotely control and monitor the vehicles.
Pod with AET 3 and 4 will be delivered 2022-2023 and will have a slightly higher price tag, somewhere around $20000 to $22000 per month.
Do you think that sounds like a lot? Einride themselves believe that most companies can reduce their transport costs by up to 60 percent by switching to this variant of logistics as a service. In addition, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 90 percent compared with ordinary fossil-fueled trucks.
Quick facts about Einride Pod (AET 1-4)
Configuration: 6x2 Rigid
Total weight: 26 tons
Load capacity: 15 pallets
Payload: 16 tons
Range: 130-180 km
Automatic charging: Yes
Remote control: Yes
Autonomous driving: Yes