All those years playing Microsoft Truck Simulator are about to pay off, if Einride's new self-driving, electric truck ends up coming to production.
Einride, a Swedish tech company, unveiled its idea for the future of trucking. It's called the T-pod, and it's a self-driving, battery-electric truck that aims for sustainability. It will be capable of autonomous driving, but human controllers operating out of a remote center will be able to control the T-pod fleet, as well. Video game aficionados, fret not -- there'll be use for you after robots steal most of our jobs.
The T-pod is about 23 feet long and it looks like nothing else on the road. Its operating weight of 20 metric tons (about 44,000 pounds) allows for a load capacity of 15 standard pallets. Its 200-kWh electric battery will supply enough juice for about 200 kilometers (124 miles) of driving on a single charge.
While the T-pod seen here is only a prototype, its goal is to be put to work within the next few years. Einride hopes to create a transport system between Gothenburg and Helsingborg, two Swedish towns about 200 km apart. Approximately 200 of these T-pod trucks will operate on this route, with a net capacity of about 2 million pallets per year.
Einride sees a significant environmental benefit from this train of T-pods. Electric trucks traveling between Gothenburg and Helsingborg will be able to save the equivalent of 400,000 cars' worth of carbon-dioxide emissions over the same distance. Einride's hope is to reduce freight-related carbon dioxide emissions up to 60 percent by 2030.
Self-driving trucks are in a burgeoning niche that is attracting attention from all corners of the tech and auto industry. Uber purchased Otto, a company that achieved thein the US. Freightliner and Daimler have . Chipmaker Nvidia is working with the manufacturer PACCAR to , as well.