Electric robotic trucks are on their way to America

GE Appliances in the US and Einride, a Swedish company with shipping technology, have jointly announced that they will be the first in the United States to start operating automated electric trucks.

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The Scandinavian company’s box-like delivery vehicles have been in use in other parts of the world since 2019 and now also appear at the U.S. home appliance manufacturer’s site in Louisville, Kentucky. Einride also operates electric vehicles at other GE sites in Tennessee and Georgia. The two sides claim the cooperation could save 970 tons of carbon dioxide in its first year.

The companies confirmed to ZDNet that they have received approval from the federal organization responsible for overseeing highway safety, NHTSA, and that their engineers will continue to work to resolve any issues that may arise during the Louisville trial operation.

The 300-acre legendary Appliance Park, home to the test, is an important part of the city, so much so that it even got its own zip code. Pods travel between campus buildings while security officers from both companies monitor the proper operation of autonomous vehicles.

Electric freight transport without a driver is much safer than traditional. This is an important consideration at every step of the planning process, and in addition, additional systems are in place to prevent trouble, says a spokesman for the Swedish company. The trucks can be controlled remotely if necessary, and engineers in a more secluded part of the area can intervene at any time.

It can even be an attractive job

Companies have sought to dispel many fears that autonomous vehicles will take the place of human labor; trucks are not one of the possible solutions to the persistent labor shortages in the transport industry.

There is a serious global shortage of professionals behind the government, and trends like e-commerce are even increasing the demand for transportation services. This gap could be filled by vehicles using the new technology, the spokesman explains.

According to research commissioned by Einride, respondents prefer to be a truck driver if they can do it remotely. It also increases the urge to join if they don’t have to work back and forth on long journeys away from home.

In a statement, the company also emphasizes that despite the fact that road freight transport is becoming more intelligent and sustainable, there are still plenty of opportunities to drive connected electric vehicles in the traditional sense, writes iotzona.hu.

With the spread of autonomy, drivers are becoming remote operators. This means a safer and more "regular" work environment and a more attractive profession to tackle global labor shortages, the communication said.

(Source: autokalauz.co.hu; iotzona.hu | Image: pixabay.com)

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