May 15, 2020

Sweden Invents Delivery Truck Remotely Driven from Office, Could be Helpful During COVID-19 Pandemic

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A truck without a cab or driver is now being tested on a public road in Sweden, mixing with other traffic as it moves goods around an industrial zone.

Swedish startup Einride began operating the electric truck on a short stretch of road in Jönköping, atransport hub in the heart of Scandinavia, on Wednesday.

Einride said the trial, which is due to run until the end of 2020, is the first time a fully self-driving truck without a backup driver has been allowed on a public road.

This self-driving electric truck is now being tested in an industrial zone in Sweden.

The “T-Pod” truck is supervised remotely by an operator who can take control if necessary. Other companies have completed test runs on public roads with a driver inside the vehicle ready to take over.

The 26-ton truck is equipped with cameras, radars and 3D sensors, which give it 360-degree awareness of its surroundings. Built by Einride, it uses an autonomous driving platform made by NVIDIA (NVDA), and its systems are connected via a 5G network. It has a range of 200 kilometers (124 miles).

The route it takes from a warehouse to a freight terminal building is just 300 meters long, but it includes five right-angle turns and a 100-meter stretch of road used by other trucks and vehicles.

07 May 2019, Hessen, Darmstadt: Two Scania R450 Hybrid tractors with extended pantograph are about to start operating the first German test track for electric trucks with overhead contact line at a service area on motorway 5 (A5). The eHighway will be tested in public road traffic for the first time on the 10-kilometer test track between the Langen/M??rfelden and Weiterstadt junctions. Photo: Silas Stein/dpa (Photo by Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images)

An Einride spokesperson said the T-Pod will be making the trip several times a day during the trial.

The truck can reach speeds of up to 85 kilometers per hour (53 miles per hour), but is only allowed to drive at 5 kilometers per hour (3 miles per hour) during the trial. The speed limit was set by the Swedish Transport Agency.

While the road can get busy, traffic speeds are generally low, the spokesperson added.

The truck is only allowed to go slowly during the test runs.

Businesses around the world are getting excited about the prospect of driverless trucks given the growing shortage of drivers.

The American Trucking Associations said transport companies need roughly 60,000 extra drivers. In Europe, there are 150,000 unfilled truck driver positions, according to Transport Intelligence, a logistics research company.

Source: CNN

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