Just when the District was getting accustomed to autonomous delivery drones on its sidewalks, a new delivery system on wheels has been proposed.
Fast Company reports that Swedish startup Einride has created an autonomous delivery truck called the “T-pod”, a seat-, window- and cab-free semi. The T-pod would replace typical semi-trucks, hauling up to 20 tons of freight at a time. The truck will be monitored remotely in case intervention is needed; one operator would monitor an entire fleet while the pod is on the highway. Once the pod enters a city, an individual operator would take over to guide it to its destination — a feature that Uber’s self-driving truck Otto lacks.
The truck runs entirely on electric power and can go 124 miles without needing to be charged.
“If you have to stand still maybe one-third of the time to actually charge, that makes the business case for having a truck driver in a battery-powered truck not that good,” explains CEO of Einride Robert Falck. “But if you remove them and create a system where the truck driver drives it remotely and controls a fleet, you overcome that problem.”
Einride is looking to begin testing its prototype this summer in Sweden and test its first fleet next year in hopes of having 200 trucks on the road by 2020. The country is still in a gray area regarding the legality of self-driving vehicles, although there is proposed legislation that would allow for testing of autonomous vehicles.
See other articles related to: self-driving cars
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_next_autonomous_delivery_option/12453
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