Einride, a Swedish startup that builds driverless electric vehicles, has launched a new “intelligent” platform for freight mobility for shippers and drivers. The platform that has been in beta was developed to enable intelligent routing and planning and to provide insights into emissions to improve sustainability.
Stockholm-based Einride was founded in 2016 and has raised more than $ 30 million to develop electric vehicles that have no place for a human driver. These "pods" can carry all types of cargo and have been tested on-site at customers and on public roads in Sweden. In April, however, Einride announced that it would also develop human-powered electric vehicles as part of the transition to full autonomy. This may be an implicit acknowledgment that the focus needs to be expanded to build sustainable business as the market slowly matures.
While these new vehicles will have human drivers at the forefront, they will be shipped with some of Einrides Smarts, including telematics hardware that data to the Einride freight mobility platform. At the start, Einride's freight platform offers visualizations of the shipping volume, dynamic routing, forecasts for future shipping needs, the distance traveled and the emissions associated with these miles. Einride can also suggest measures to mitigate a shipper's environmental impact or logistics spend by making suggestions such as switching to electrification. A separate driver app also offers route updates, emissions and efficiency data and more.
Although the platform can be operated with all freight vehicles from diesel to electric, Einride has optimized the platform for working with electric and autonomous vehicles that are pre-integrated in the Einride software. The first of these will hit the streets with customers like Lidl in Sweden later this year.
While Einride originally positioned itself as an electrified, autonomous truck company, the company is clearly trying to solve a major problem that has affected the road haulage industry for years. In fact, many companies are already working to make the trucking industry more efficient, including Uber Freight. However, with an agenda focused on electrification, Einride hopes to attract the attention of companies that invest in sustainability.
According to Robert Falck, CEO and founder of Einride, autonomous electromobility must be underpinned by "intelligent planning and optimized vehicle networks" in order to exploit its full potential in freight transport. He believes that without it, electric and autonomous vehicles will be a “patchwork solution”.