Einride, the Swedish autonomous trucking startup, unveiled a new vehicle type that the company hopes to have on the road delivering freight starting in 2021. The vehicles, dubbed Autonomous Electric Transport (AET), came in four different variations. And much like Einride’s previous prototypes, they come without steering wheels, pedals, windshields, and, in general, no cab at all.
Einride has been in the business of releasing interesting, eye-catching prototype vehicles since it was founded in 2016. There was the cab-less T-Pod, released in 2017, four of which are operating on public roads hauling freight for Oatly, the Swedish food producer. A year later, the company unveiled the T-Log, built to be more powerful than its predecessor for the job of (you guessed it) hauling tons of giant tree logs. Now it has a next-generation vehicle that it hopes it can put into production.
Einride’s also been engaged with the less glamorous part of the job, which is testing, validating, and seeking regulatory approval for its vehicles, all of which are electric and can be controlled remotely by a human operator, in addition to operating autonomously without human intervention. The company has yet to reveal its plans for production and manufacturing.
Design-wise, the AET vehicles look almost identical to Einride’s Pod (previously T-Pod) prototype: sleek, white, cab-less pods with smooth lines and an otherworldly feel. Einride CEO Robert Falck said the AET is more aerodynamic than previous iterations, which will help when the company starts to scale up its manufacturing. “When you nail a design the first time, why reinvent the wheel?” Falck said.
The new AET vehicles come in four levels. The first two — AET 1 and AET 2 — have top speeds of 30 km/h (18 mph), weigh 26 tons, have payloads of 16 tons, and a battery range
Otonomo’s research shows that most drivers do not want a future of public transport-style mobility, many have strong concerns about autonomous vehicles and most want to monitor the data their cars generate.
New Otonomo Report: Shared Mobility and AV – Who wants them?
Hertzliya, Israel, Oct. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Otonomo, the leading automotive data services platform provider, today announced the results of a new consumer study fielded by SBD Automotive. Connected car data is driving the evolution from private ownership to shared mobility and autonomous driving. But data alone will not enable adoption of these technologies. Consumer trust, enabling technologies, and government action are needed for transformation to take place. Consumer buy-in is critical, so along with SBD Automotive, Otonomo surveyed over 2500 drivers regarding their concerns and opinions about shared mobility and autonomous vehicles.
“Putting the driver first is in Otonomo’s DNA,” said Ben Volkow, Founder and CEO. ”We believe that for technologies to succeed they must meet the needs of consumers. Otonomo, the automakers, service providers and transportation facilitators need to listen to the interests and concerns of consumers. We hope that this survey provides additional consumer insights that will bring us closer to a future that includes richer driver experiences, more efficient fleet management, shared mobility and ultimately autonomous vehicles, all based on secure and privacy protected connected car data.”
The complete report, Data-Driven Driving: Shifting into Shared Mobility and Autonomous Cars (Download PDF) (View online flipbook) is available online at no charge. Below are a select group of key findings.
Key Findings Shared Mobility
Only 34% want a transport-style mobility of the future
29% said they would share their car
40% said they prefer to access a shared car
For the past four years, Swedish startup Einride has captured interest, investment and even a few customer contracts for its unusual-looking pods — electric and autonomous vehicles that are designed to carry freight. But progress in developing, testing and validating autonomous vehicles — particularly ones that don’t even have space for a driver and rely on teleoperations — is an expensive and time-consuming task.
The company has made some progress with its T-Pod vehicles; four of them are on public roads today and even carry freight for customer Oatly, the Swedish food producer. Now, a year after raising $25 million, the company said it has another $10 million coming in from its existing investors.
The announcement comes ahead of a new vehicle the Einride will unveil October 8. Not much is known about the vehicle; Einride has only supplied a short and obscure teaser video.
Einride said the $10 million in new funding was led by impact fund Norrsken VC and included participation from EQT Ventures fund, Nordic Ninja VC and Ericsson Ventures. Norrsken VC is also joining Einride’s advisory board.
The capital will be used to fast track the official launch of its Einride Pods, the company said. Einride acknowledged that startups in AI and robotics were upended, and even shuttered altogether, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company contests that demand for contactless delivery options — not coincidentally the kind it hopes to provide — has grown because of COVID-19. Einride said it’s maintained a “strong stream of new partnerships,” including onboarding partners Oatly and supermarket chain Lidl as well as launching a freight mobility platform designed to give customers information on shipping volume, distance driven and associated emissions and help pick the most efficient routes.
“There is both a lot of excitement and a
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force has added nine vendors to the list of companies that will compete to build the service’s autonomous Skyborg drone wingman.
On Sept. 28, the service awarded each firm an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract worth up to $400 million. The nine companies were AeroVironment Inc., Autodyne LLC, BAE System Controls Inc., Blue Force Technologies Inc., Fregata Systems Inc., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, NextGen Aeronautics Inc., Sierra Technical Services, and Wichita State University.
Those organizations join Northrop Grumman, Boeing, General Atomics and Kratos, which won the first round of contracts in July.
No money has been allotted to vendors so far. Instead, the 13 companies on contract will compete against each other for future delivery orders.
“This second phase of awards establishes a diverse and competitive vendor pool by adding several nontraditional and traditional contractors we saw as important additions to the effort,” said Brig. Gen. Dale White, the program executive officer for fighters and advanced aircraft, whose team manages the Skyborg program with the Air Force Research Laboratory.
Skyborg is one of the lab’s top three science and technology efforts. The project is meant to produce a family of uncrewed aerial systems that can move into contested spaces and conduct aerial missions that might be too dangerous for human pilots to perform.
Under the Skyborg program, the Air Force hopes to build a low-cost, attritable drone that can be reused but — if destroyed in combat — is cheap enough to be written off without incurring a large material loss. Key to the program is the development of artificial intelligence that will allow the aircraft to operate autonomously and potentially learn from prior training missions.
Currently, the Skyborg program is focused on developing the technologies necessary for the “Autonomous Core System,” the service said