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Image: DB Schenker

A collaboration between Ericsson, Telia and Einride is trialling an autonomous transport ecosystem at a DB Schenker logistics facility in Jönköping, Sweden. This marks the first commercial application of Einride’s autonomous electric transportation (AET) technology in its T-pod driverless vehicle, which will operate continuously at the facility.

The Einride T-pod will be supervised by a remote operator, who can intervene as necessary. This means that it does not even have a driver’s cab – saving space and giving increased loading capacity, plus lower operating and production costs as well as optimized energy consumption. The vehicle can be coordinated in a fleet, ultimately for road freight and deliveries.

Transport company Einride has been working with Stockholm-based telecomms firm Telia in its 5G Partner Program, and the T-pod’s connectivity concept is underpinned by the Ericsson Radio System and Cloud Core for 5G. Einride CEO and founder Robert Falck said in a statement: “Our driving mission is to lead the sustainable transition of road freight transportation. 5G provides the connectivity and reliability we need to safely introduce the T-pod onto public roads.”

Åsa Tamsons, head of business area technologies & new businesses, Ericsson, noted: “There is a paradigm shift going on in the transport industry. 5G, with its high-data speeds and ultra-low latency, is powering a new world of autonomous vehicles that takes fleet management to the next level. Einride’s transportation solution is a perfect example of how 5G can drive cost efficiencies, improve safety, and create a sustainable future.”

Mats Lundbäck, chief technology officer, Telia Sweden, added: “5G is a very exciting technology that will enable new sustainable business opportunities and create customer value. Together with our partners, we are building a powerful ecosystem that is going to have a deep impact for customers and society as a whole.”

DB Schenker intends to bring an autonomous electric truck onto public roads. “in the near future”, according to CEO Jochen Thewes, and additional international pilot projects are planned in addition to the Jönköping trial.