By James Raia
The massive trucks likely won’t pass you on the freeway. But don’t be surprised when two new driverless vehicles soon appear on the horizon.
Sweden-based Einride recently released renderings of an autonomous truck it hopes to have on the roads as early as 2021.
The futuristic white vehicle is called the Autonomous Electric Transport. It will be available in four variants – all with the same aerodynamic silhouette.
Four trucks, no drivers
Similar to the company’s previous designs, this model is cabless and allows for greater storage capacity. The first two of four variations — called AET 1 and AET 2 — both weigh 26 tons. They can support payloads of up to 16 tons and have a peak speed of 18 mph.
The larger of the two trucks and the AET 3 and AET 4 have similar configurations and specifications. But the latter two siblings accelerate to 45 mph. The AET 1 and 2 are designed for deliveries in rural areas; the AET 3 and 4 are designed for highway transport.
Einride claims its vehicles have the potential to reduce transportation costs by over half and CO2 emissions by as much as 90 percent.
While all of the vehicles can be controlled remotely, the startup will use software from artificial intelligence specialist Nvidia to achieve Level 4 autonomy. It means the vehicles can be truly driverless within a specific context.
James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.