The Swedish startup’s electric trucks will carry out a test on public roads in Q3 this year.

By Stephanie MlotStephanie Mlot

Swedish transport company Einride got the green light to operate autonomous electric trucks without a driver present on US public roads.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved the company’s “Pod” for public roads, which counts as an industry first for this type of driverless truck.

A sleek black-and-white box on wheels, the Einride Pod doesn’t have room for a human driver. Instead, a remote operator monitors and can step in to control the vehicle if necessary. As these are effectively electric trucks and will be transporting heavy goods, it comes as no surprise that the range is estimated to be 124 miles on a fully-charged battery.

Einride’s test on public roads will be carried out in Q3 this year. It’s partnering with home appliances company General Electric Appliances for the test, with a GE Appliances manufacturing facility being the base of operations. The Pod will operate on routes with mixed traffic, executing real-life workflows like the movement of goods and coordination with warehouse teams for loading and unloading.

“This is a type of vehicle that has never before been seen on US roads and marks a major milestone as a turning point for the future of the freight industry,” according to Einride CEO Robert Falck. “We know the autonomous and electric technology of our pod will not only revolutionize transportation but also create thousands of jobs and help America stay competitive.”