Driverless electric truck hits Swedish roads

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 15, 2019 - Duration: 01:33s

Driverless electric truck hits Swedish roads

A driverless electric truck began daily freight deliveries on a public road in Sweden on Wednesday, in what developer Einride and logistics customer DB Schenker described as a world first.

Lauren Anthony reports.


Driverless electric truck hits Swedish roads

This driverless electric truck in Sweden began daily freight deliveries on public roads on Wednesday (May 15), in what its creators have described as a 'world first'.

When full, the Einride T-Pod delivery truck is 26 tons of autonomous efficiency.

With no space for a human driver - though a human operator can remotely control the vehicle if it gets confused.

Start-up Einride is working alongside logistics giant DB Schenke to create the automated, zero-emission delivery service.

Reuters' Ilze Filks witnessed the first run: (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS SENIOR PRODUCER FOR THE NORDICS, ILZE FILKS, SAYING: "It was only a short drive down a public road from their warehouse to the distribution center, but it's significant, says Einride, because this is a world first.

And this will give information to potential customers, as well as Schenker about how to set up and plan their distribution in the future." Einride estimates it's T-Pod reduces road freight operating costs by around 60 percent versus a diesel truck with a driver.

The company is also in partnership talks with big suppliers to help scale up production and orders and the firm hasn't ruled out the possibility of future tie-ups with large truckmakers.

Although Einride's remit is currently small - it's founders say the company is hoping to gain access to more public routes, and expand in the United States.

Schenker picked Einride over more established truckmakers - underpinning its ambition to have 200 vehicles in operation by the end of 2020.

Freight operators are under pressure to reduce delivery times, cut down on emissions, and resolve a growing shortage of drivers.

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