Einride launch the world‘s first autonomous all-electric log truck

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 23, 2018

Earlier this month Swedish tech start-up Einride unveiled the world‘s first autonomous all-electric log truck, the T-log, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed Future Lab in England.

In July last year Einride revealed the T-pod – the world‘s first autonomous, all-electric truck.

“Einride is constantly pushing the boundaries of autonomous and all-electric vehicles in our ambition to lead the transition to a sustainable transportation system,” said Einride CEO Robert Falck.

“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,” he added.

While many autonomous vehicle manufacturers are developing vehicles with driverless capabilities, Einride has gone a step further and removed the cab altogether.

As a more powerful version of Einride‘s T-pod, the T-log boasts advanced off-road capabilities and is designed to navigate through rough forestry roads. Without having to make room for a driver‘s compartment, the T-log can be smaller than ordinary log trucks, while still carrying a load of up to 16 tonnes of timber. Removing the driver‘s cab also removes the cost of production and operation, and energy consumption is more efficient as the vehicle runs solely on batteries, even in harsh forest terrains.

The driver‘s cab is what makes trucks expensive to produce, and having a driver in the cab is what makes them expensive to operate. Remove the cab and replace the driver with an operator who can monitor and remote control several vehicles at once and costs can be significantly reduced.

Instead of a human driver, the truck is equipped with multiple radar called lidar, and camera sensors that give a 360-degree awareness of its environment. The truck will employ Nvidia‘s self-driving system to reach level 4 autonomous driving, meaning it can perform all critical functions.

The truck can be remote controlled by a human operator from hundreds of miles away using Phantom Auto teleoperation safety technology. An intelligent routing software provides the truck with real-time traffic data, allowing it to adapt its route to avoid congestion. This routing system will also be able to coordinate fleets of T-logs to make the transport as efficient as possible, improving delivery time, battery life and energy consumption.

The fully electric T-log would also be an environmentally friendly alternative to diesel powered trucks, emitting no greenhouse gases or toxic nitrogen oxides.

With a battery capacity of 300kWh, the vehicle can travel for 120 miles (193kms) on one charge. The T-log is destined to hit public roads by 2020.