How do you drive without ever hitting the road? The answer to that question has the potential to transform one of the world’s most essential industries, and one of the most common professions in America.
As part of its U.S. launch in early November, Einride unveiled its latest technology, including new software, hardware, and promise to create thousands of new jobs. The keynote included a glimpse at the innovations that will change what it means to be a truck driver, through new efficiencies, safety features and regulation.
Trucking’s newest career path
Nearly two million Americans are heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, not to mention the millions more employed throughout the industry and supply chain. But despite its size, the road shipping industry is facing massive labor shortages worldwide, especially in the United States.
Einride founder and CEO Robert Falck has proposed a way forward: “We believe that the solution to these problems is simple – disrupting the driver profession by leveraging new technology to transform it into becoming sustainable for the millions that make up the industry.”
One of these new technologies is the Einride Remote Driving Station, allowing operators to oversee and control multiple autonomous and electric Pods at once and from nearly anywhere which ultimately will create a more controlled work environment in comparison to long days on the road.“Our technology has tremendous potential in improving the work environment for truck drivers across the globe by changing what it means to be a trucker: from ‘on the road’ to ‘work from home,’” said Falck.
The world’s first remote truck driver
Naturally, an entirely new type of profession won’t be implemented overnight, so it was crucial to make sure that remote driving learns from and evolves alongside trucking. Einride went searching for the first Pod Operator, and found the perfect candidate in the process.
Tiffany Heathcott is a native of Texas, and has been driving trucks with her husband as a team for nearly a decade. A veteran of multiple industries, she has seen every state in America except for one in her years on the road.
“It’s hard to convince people that have been in the industry a long time that this is what should happen. People are nervous that they’re going to lose their job or give up their career, but they’re still gonna need their experience to drive these autonomous vehicles,” said Tiffany.
With the help of this position’s role in redefining shipping, Einride will create 2,000 new jobs In contrast to conventional trucking, remote operation will be safer, involve more regular hours, and provide a more hospitable work environment. The proliferation of electric and autonomous transport will also create jobs across the supply chain, from electric infrastructure installation and maintenance to the widespread construction of 5G networks.
“I can’t wait for everything that it’s going to give to us as truck drivers. I’m going to see my family more, see my grandchildren more. What more could I ask for?”