Einride, has released plans for an all-electric autonomous semi in a bold attempt to get its foot firmly placed in the competitive autonomous and electric markets.
The Swedish startup’s new truck, the T-log, features no cab or engine and relies on a simple sculpted white slab up front. As the name suggests the vehicle is designed for large transport industries, and is set to play a pivotal role in Scandinavian and Nordic countries where logging can represent almost 20 per cent of total volume.
“Einride is constantly pushing the boundaries of autonomous and all-electric vehicles in our ambition to lead the transition to a sustainable transportation system,” the company’s CEO Robert Falck said.
“With the T-log, we’ve created a vehicle that can withstand the rigours of a demanding environment. It is uncharted territory for us, but also an enormous market for battery-powered AVs.”
The T-log features upright support to hold the logs in place, while company engineers have beefed up the suspension and strengthened the chassis to cope with the heavier load and rougher forest roads that a logging truck will see. Powered by the Nvidia Drive self-driving platform, the T-log is capable of SEA level 4 self-driving.
The vehicle is remote-controlled by a human operator, from hundreds of miles away using Phantom Auto teleoperation safety technology designed to provide robust, minimal latency telecommunications even with 4G. By effectively removing the driver cab, Falck and the Einride team are confident that the T-log will provide huge financial and efficiency benefits for the industry in the long term.
“The driver’s cab is what makes trucks expensive to produce, and having a driver in the cabin is what makes them expensive to operate,” he said.
“Remove the cabin and replace the driver with an operator who can monitor and remote-control several vehicles at once and costs can be reduced significantly. In addition, operating a vehicle from a distance allows for a much better working environment, as has already been demonstrated in industries like mining.”