Not too long ago, we covered Swedish startup Einride's plans to remotely operate cabless
using a remote truck driver to control multiple vehicles. At the time, we wondered how effective or safe it would be to ask one person to monitor so many trucks, but it seems like the Einride system is going to be a little easier on the operator than we thought.
In this video that Einride published on Tuesday, we can see the remote operator using a pretty serious sim setup -- not unlike one you'd see on a high-end sim racing rig -- with surround-view monitors to help provide a clear picture of what the Einride pod is seeing. It also uses something similar to the racing line you'd see in a Forza or Gran Turismo game to help the driver.
The Einride pods are capable of operating without a driver in limited situations, relying on the remote driver to do complicated maneuvers such as backing up to a loading dock, as is shown in the video. The pods are designed to be used in short- to medium-haul situations, so they're going to run repetitive routes, with most of the variables being at the start and endpoints.
"The cost of transport continues to increase by 2 to 3% year-over-year, while the average capacity utilization of any given transport vehicle remains around 25%," said Einride CEO Robert Falck. "With the ability to monitor and control multiple AET vehicles with just one remote operator, we can dramatically improve the cost efficiency of every vehicle in a fleet, not to mention significantly reducing emissions and improving the work environment for truck drivers."
Einride eventually hopes to be able to increase its vehicle-to-driver ratio to the point where a single remote operator can safely manage up to 10 trucks. The video shows the operator switching between two trucks at the push of a button, but we'd guess that it's still a long way off from that 10:1 ratio.