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Einride T-Pod Self-Driving Truck Starts Its Runs on Public Road for DB Schenker

Seeing passenger cars moving on streets with no driver in control is something we are slowly becoming accustomed to. But seeing a 20-ton truck with no windows driving by itself is not something we can wrap our heads around just yet.
Einride T-Pod at DB Schenker 3 photos
Einride T-PodEinride T-Pod
Although most of the R&D into creating self-driving trucks is being conducted in the U.S., it is in Europe that the first such a truck was used on a public road for commercial purpose with no backup driver on board.

It all happened this week in Sweden, where local truck maker Einride rolled out on a public road the T-Pod, an all-electric, autonomous and windowless cargo hauler. And it was not just a demonstration run, but a full-size test in the service of logistics giant DB Schenker and a result of a partnership between the two that started last year.

The run of the truck was made possible after the company received a permit, one that allows it to conduct runs between a warehouse and a terminal at speeds of at most 5 kph (3 mph), according to CNN. The one-way distance between the two locations is just 300 meters but includes right angle turns and is used by other, conventional trucks as well.

The deployment of the T-Pod comes later than initially planned, as Einride last year the trucks should be on the roads by fall 2018. Now that it finally gained traction, the company hopes to have in the hundreds of T-Pods on the streets next year, working for Lidl, Svenska Retursystem and others.

The T-Pod is capable of carrying 15 standard pallets, for a total weight of 20 metric tons (33,000 lb) for a distance of up to 200 km (125 miles) on a charge. The first full route the truck is likely to have is the one linking the cities of Gothenburg and Helsingborg in Sweden, or a distance roughly equal to the maximum range.

Einride hopes that by 2035, 20 percent of road transports in Sweden to be made with T-Pods.


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