Einride is hiring its first remote autonomous truck operator. The job posting is online and the Swedish company says a similar position in the U.S. will be open later this year. (Photo: Einride)
Swedish engineering firm Einride has a job opening for a virtual truck driver. The job entails being the company’s first remote operator of one of the company’s autonomous electric trucks.
- Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Einride specializes in autonomous electric cargo vehicles.
- Called the Einride Pod, each truck has a range of 124 miles and top speed of 53 mph.
- The remote operator will monitor the vehicle and intercede if any issues arise.
- Sorry, you can’t drive the Einride Pod from the comfort of your sofa – at least not right now.
A Swedish company specializing in self-drive electric trucks has the perfect job for these imperfect times. Einride has a job opening for its first-ever remote autonomous truck driver. The position involves remotely operating the Einride Pod, the company’s electric-powered and autonomous cargo vehicle, and monitoring its progress.
Each Pod can be customized in a number of ways, depending on what’s being hauled. These include refrigerated cargo holds, or open-air beds to haul lumber or similarly bulky items. Since it doesn’t require a driver, there is no cabin. When fully loaded, an Einride Pod weighs approximately 26 tons, or 52,000 pounds. For reference, the legal maximum weight for an 18-wheel tractor trailer in the U.S. is set at 80,000 pounds.
What’s the catch? Well, you won’t be able to work from home. Einride envisions its first autonomous truck operator will be a test model, of sorts, for future roles with the same task. This includes approximately nine months of research and development for the remote ‘driver’ to get acquainted with the role. This involves taking charge of the truck remotely, if needed, keeping tabs on the vehicle’s progress, monitoring the vehicle’s maintenance needs, or other tasks that still require human intervention and oversight.
The job will be based at Einride’s headquarters in Stockholm, though the job posting states a U.S. operator will be hired sometime in the third quarter of 2020. In regards to what it called Autonomous Electric Transport (AET), Einride’s founder and CEO, Robert Falck, doesn’t envision an entirely robotic future where humans are nudged to the sidelines.
“Today, our autonomous pods are operated by developers – robot engineers trained to drive trucks. A commercially scalable solution must rely on truck drivers, trained to remote-operate robots. The ins-and-outs of that future are what we’re investigating now, by involving truck drivers in the process,” stated Falck.
Each Einride truck is entirely electric and has a driving range of approximately 124 miles. Top speed is limited to 53 mph. Test vehicles currently in operation in Sweden have been limited to a walking-pace speed of around 3 mph, however.
WHY THIS MATTERS
If ever there was a time when driving trucks from the comfort of home made sense, this is it. While the research and development phase will be done at Einride’s headquarters in Sweden, there could come a day when hauling cargo is done remotely, from anywhere in the world.