Self-driving projects are virtually everywhere these days, but with most traditional automakers, startups and technology companies still testing them with traditional controls for monitoring drivers to assume control if need be.
A company from Sweden is aiming to circumvent this operational stage by showcasing a driverless prototype vehicle that is virtually taken from the latest Sci-Fi movies – it lacks the windows, seats, and virtually has no room for humans to sit in it. It is indeed a vehicle for cargo, and it can be remotely operated if there’s a need to. It’s a little creepy – even with these light colors – to see a driverless, windowless, perhaps soulless truck. Though it might represent the future.
Einride is the name of the company that came up with the project, with the autonomous cargo truck nicknamed T-pod. It’s an all-electric design inspired by the regular city box truck, 23 feet long and with a 20-ton load capacity. When fully charged it will be operational for 124 miles, and on the highway it will be fully autonomous, with a remote operator at a central location taking over for the final part of the journey, which usually involves treacherous urban scenarios. Of course, for now it’s just a prototype with limited range and actually no remote capability, with Einride preparing a fully-functional truck for the fall, and aiming for a fleet of 200 units by 2020.