Einride’s Pods truck will be the first electric self-driving truck operating in the United States. (Source: Einride)

GE Becomes First U.S. Company to Use Electric, Self-Driving Trucks

ZDNet.com reported that GE is partnering with Swedish freight technology company Einride on bringing autonomous electric trucks to its American plants, making it the first of its kind in the U.S.

Einride’s autonomous Pods trucks have been in use in Sweden and Europe since 2019, but are going to be available at GE Appliances locations in Louisville, KY, Tennessee and Georgia.

“Sustainability and cost-efficiency is a prerequisite for implementing innovation into our business strategy,” said Bill Good, vice president of manufacturing at GE Appliances. “The partnership and technology investment with Einride is allowing us to deploy safer, more sustainable, and cost-effective solutions for the movement and transportation of material.”

ZDNet said the companies got approval from the National Highway Safety Administration to put the trucks on U.S. roads. When the publication asked about potential job losses due to the replacement of drivers by machines, the response was “no.”:

“Currently, there is already a significant global shortage of truck drivers. At the same time, trends like e-commerce are driving up demand for transportation services. Deploying an autonomous, electric transportation system will help close that gap,” an Einride spokesperson said.

Truck drivers who were surveyed by Einride said they would prefer to operate the trucks remotely. Einride said that will,  “create a safer and more regular work environment, and increase the attractiveness of a profession that is facing global shortages and significant gender inequality.”

read more at zdnet.com