WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has approved a request from Einride, the maker of a remote-driven truck, known as a “Pod,” to operate on U.S. public roadways.
Einride will use the approval to operate a pilot program for its customer General Electric, a news release stated.
The Einride Pod has no area for a driver and is instead operated by the Remote Pod Operator.
According to Einride, NHTSA’s approval is an industry-first pilot program for this type of vehicle.
The pilot program will allow the company to move goods and coordinate with teams at various warehouses for loading and unloading.
“This is a type of vehicle that has never before been seen on U.S. roads and marks a major milestone as a turning point for the future of the freight industry,” Robert Falck, Einride’s CEO and founder, said in a statement. “We know the autonomous and electric technology of our pod will not only revolutionize transportation but also create thousands of jobs and help America stay competitive.”
An Einride Remote Pod Operator will remotely monitor the Einride Pod at all times.
According to the company, this type of remote monitoring is “a first-of-its-kind 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 Einride Pod public road pilot will being in the third quarter of this year. Although an exact location has not been announced, Einride said the pilot program will be done at a GE Appliances manufacturing facility.
Stockholm, Sweden-based Einride, founded in 2016, is a freight technology company providing digital, electric and autonomous shipping.
Einride became the first company to deploy an autonomous, electric freight vehicle on a public road in 2019.
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