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Sweden’s Einride launches world’s first remote pod operator of autonomous EV fleet

Stockholm-based Einride, an electric and autonomous freight tech company that designs and develops technologies for transportation systems, announced on Monday that it has introduced its first “Remote Pod Operator,” Tiffany Heathcott.

Heathcott is a trucking veteran who will bring her driving expertise to her remote operating station, representing a paradigm shift of how cargo is transported safely and efficiently.

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“Remote Pod Operator”

Remote Pod Operators will observe and support Einride Pods that operate in automated drive mode to run optimally and safely as they ship goods on behalf of Einride’s customers.

The operators will not drive the vehicles but provide operational support to multiple pods at a time via their Automated Driving Systems, to create efficiency that will ultimately allow for increased autonomy. In contrast to conventional trucking, the remote operations will be safer, involve more regular hours, and provide a hospitable work environment for operators.

Robert Falck, CEO and Founder at Einride, says, “As we continue to scale our autonomous and electric solutions, we knew that we also needed to look at the jobs that are required to support safe and scalable implementation and we saw a market gap for this kind of role. We believe that going autonomous does not equate to losing the human element. We believe the opposite, that tech is stronger with the human element still in the loop and we are dedicated to creating a safer rollout of our autonomous and electric technology with this remote operation approach.”

Video credit: Einride (YouTube)

How can one become a Remote Pod Operator?

In order to become one, operators have to go through a full trainee programme created and accredited by Einride. The process includes supervised training with the Einride Pod and Remote Pod Operation Station where operators are trained and tested on all the various operating modes and safety protocols.

All US Remote Pod Operators are also required to have an Active CDL license B class or above in addition to the previous commercial driving experience.

Tiffany Heathcott, Remote Pod Operator at Einride, says, “When I came across the opportunity to partner with Einride in this new role, I saw that this was one of the biggest steps I could play a part in creating a better and more sustainable future for the next generation and the planet. Once other truck drivers are able to see what the remote approach to shipping can do for them, both on a professional and personal level, I’m confident that more and more will want to take part in creating lasting change.”

The team of Remote Operators has already expanded behind Heathcott and will continue to scale alongside the growing autonomous operations Einride is providing customers both in the US and in Sweden. 

Following the official US expansion in November of 2021, Einride has opened up a regional office in Austin, with plans to officially establish a US headquarters in New York. Regional offices in the Bay Area and Los Angeles will open later in 2022.

About Einride 

Founded in 2016 by Filip Lilja, Linnea Kornehed and Robert Falck, Einride is a freight technology company providing digital, electric and autonomous shipping. According to the company, in 2019, Einride’s pod became the world’s first autonomous, all-electric truck to operate a commercial flow for DB Schenker with a permit on the public road.

Einride’s technology and products enable users to execute on electrification and automation, order and track shipments, oversee routes and assignments, visualise data and gain insights.

The company claims that it has helped reduce customer CO2 emissions by 90 per cent compared to driving with diesel, including embodied emissions. Its existing customers include Coca-Cola, Oatly, Lidl, and Electrolux.

Besides business-to-business transportation modules, Einride also offers the Einride Mobility platform, a cloud-native transport execution system for autonomous and electric road transport. The Einride Mobility platform allows customers to use real-time information and data-driven insights to implement sustainable, cost-efficient, and high-performing transport logistics.

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