Einride, a Swedish startup that’s building driverless electric trucks, has launched a new “intelligent” freight mobility platform for shippers and drivers. The platform, which has been in beta for the past few months, is designed to enable smart routing, planning, and provide insights into emissions to improve sustainability.
Founded in 2016, Stockholm-based Einride has raised more than $30 million to develop electric trucks that have no space for a human driver. These so-called “pods” can carry all manner of freight and have been tested on-site at customers’ facilities and on public roads in Sweden. However, back in April Einride announced that it would also develop human-driven electric trucks as part of a transition to full autonomy, a tacit acknowledgement, perhaps, that it needed a broader focus to build a sustainable business in the near-term.
While these new vehicles will have human drivers at the helm, they will ship with some of Einride’s smarts, including telematics hardware that serves data to the Einride freight mobility platform. At launch, Einride’s freight platform offers visualizations of shipping volume, dynamic routing, forecasts for future shipping needs, distance driven, and the emissions associated with those miles — Einride may also suggest actions to counter a shipper’s environmental impact or logistics spend by making suggestions such as switching to electrification. A separate driver’s app also provides route updates, emissions, efficiency data, and more.
Although the platform can work with any freight vehicles, be it diesel or electric, Einride has optimized the platform to work with electric and autonomous vehicles pre-integrated with Einride’s software, the first of which will be hitting roads in Sweden later this year with customers in Sweden including Lidl.
While Einride initially positioned itself as an electrified, autonomous truck company, it’s clearly targeting the broader freight industry as it looks to solve a bigger problem that has blighted the road freight industry for years. Indeed, numerous companies are already working toward making the trucking industry more efficient, including Uber Freight, but by pushing an agenda centered on electrification, Einride hopes to capture the attentions of companies that are investing in sustainability.
According to Einride CEO and founder Robert Falck, for autonomous electric transport to reach its full potential in freight, it needs to be underpinned by “intelligent planning and optimized vehicle networks,” and without that electric and autonomous vehicles will be a “patchwork solution.”