Driverless trucks could soon help ferry felled logs from remote locations. Swedish tech start-up Einride has revealed the T-log, an autonomous, all-electric logging truck designed to replace the polluting diesel trucks currently used. Unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, it has no driver's cab but can be remote-controlled by a human operator, from hundreds of miles away. Fleet of T-logs will be coordinated by an intelligent routing system, optimizing delivery time, battery life and energy consumption, making the transport as efficient as possible, the firm behind it says. Robert Falck, the CEO of Einride, the firm behind the truck, said: 'The driver's cab is what makes trucks expensive to produce, and having a driver in the cabin is what makes them expensive to operate.
In the U.S. and other countries, aging populations and growing logistics demand have resulted in shortages of truck drivers. Autonomous trucks could help relieve those shortages. Einride AB today announced that it plans to hire what it called "the first autonomous and remote truck operator in the freight mobility space." The Stockholm-based company said it will hire drivers in Sweden next month, followed by the U.S. in the third quarter. The remote operators would begin commercial services in Sweden in Q3 2020 and in the U.S. in Q4 2020.
Einride's trucks have no provisions for human drivers on-board, so the remote operator program is key. There isn't exactly a shortage of companies looking to disrupt the trucking industry. Tesla and Nikola are pushing their electrified semis pretty hard, and even legacy companies like Freightliner and Volvo Trucks are looking to ditch the diesel and embrace electrons. But there's one company, in particular, that's trying to go even further by making its trucks remote-operated. Einride, a Swedish company, has been working on its T-Pod and T-Log concepts for a few years now, both of which are electric and autonomous, with no provision for a human onboard operator.
Look at just about any rendering or essayistic sketch of the world's transportation future, and you'll notice two things about the cars, trucks, vans, and whatever elses tootling around the roads: They drive themselves and they run on electricity. The funny thing about that pairing is that there's no inherent relationship between a vehicle's ability to drive itself and what it uses to move its wheels. Relying on a battery can actually be problematic for vehicles running piles of computers and sensors, but electric rides are a popular choice for autonomy developers anyway, because they feel more like the future. For Swedish trucking startup Einride, though, the connection between electric and autonomous technology is fundamental. Getting rid of the human, founder and CEO Robert Falck says, makes the formidable challenge of running a truck on batteries far easier.
A Swedish startup has unveiled an all-electric, driverless logging truck. The announcement came at the UK's Goodwood Festival of Speed, and it's another sign of the increasing push toward automation across industries that rely on ground transportation. In this case, safety is the driving concern. Logging has the single highest fatality rate of any industry in America, and it's one of the most dangerous industries internationally. Automation could reduce workplace accidents.