Freight mobility technology company Einride completed a public road pilot of Einride’s autonomous, electric vehicle in Selmer, Tennessee. After receiving the first U.S. approval for operations of this new type of vehicle from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) earlier this year, Einride completed this industry first by operating a fully autonomous, electric vehicle without a safety driver on board on U.S. public roads. The pilot, in partnership with GE Appliances, a Haier company, took place over two weeks as the vehicle supported real-time workflows and transported finished goods from GE Appliances’ facilities.
“The completion of this pilot is a momentous step in the operations of autonomous heavy-duty road freight in the U.S.,” said Robert Falck, CEO, and Founder at Einride. “This shows how Einride’s new type of vehicle, one that has reshaped the future of shipping, is here today and unlocking real industry change.”
Working in close partnership with state and county officials and GE Appliances staff, the Einride autonomous vehicle conducted the safe movement of goods between GE Appliances’ manufacturing facility and warehouse. Einride also partnered with Ericsson, who provided a private connectivity network for seamless vehicle functionality and to enable a Remote Operator to remotely monitor the vehicle. GE Appliances’ Selmer, TN facility was chosen as the pilot launch site due to the nature of the environment for safe testing of operations while meeting the real demand for the movement of goods.
“In order to lead, you have to think ahead and think differently,” said Harry Chase, Senior Director of Central Materials for GE Appliances. “Working with Einride on this pilot on public roads in Tennessee helped us better envision and understand what we need to do differently to be at the forefront of autonomous and EV implementation. At GE Appliances, we believe you need to continuously experiment with new technology in order to learn.”
Einride operates one of the largest fleets of electric vehicles in Europe and the U.S., with the partnership with GE Appliances deploying both autonomous and electric vehicles starting in October 2021. Since then, GE Appliances has doubled its connected electric fleet of Einride Trucks and is leveraging Einride’s intelligent freight mobility platform, Einride Saga, to reduce emissions throughout its supply chains.