As the first remote autonomous truck operator, this former truck driver will pioneer an entirely new job category, shaping both the immediate work environment and the job description of tomorrow’s truckers. The operator will be responsible for remote control driving of the Einride Pod, and training will incorporate safety and security protocols, basic remote driving instruction, and an extensive understanding of the technology behind the system.
Working closely with the Einride tech team to provide feedback on the development of both autonomous and remote drive technology, an operator will be hired in Sweden in March 2020. A 9-month research and development trial period will continue through the end of the year and serve to optimize the overall experience and guidelines for future remote operators. As part of the plan to expand globally, Einride also plans to hire a remote driver in Q3 of 2020 in the U.S.
“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,” said Robert Falck, founder and CEO of Einride.
While truck driving is still one of the world’s most prominent professions, the future of the industry is already falling behind fast. By the end of 2017, the U.S. was facing a shortage of 51,000 truck drivers according to the American Trucking Association, and that number is only expected to increase. Additionally, just 6 percent of U.S. truck drivers identify as female, leaving nearly half of the potential workforce out of the equation.
Einride predicts that by implementing the use of remote autonomous truck operators for Autonomous Electric Transport (AET), the company has the potential to:
Reduce fuel/energy costs by up to 70% by implementing AET solutions
Cut operating costs by up to 60% and increase productivity by 200% by increasing the time spent driving by autonomous transports
Reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90%
“The continued development of autonomous vehicles will place new demands on the workforce and raises questions about the future working environment of drivers/operators,” said Robert Falck, founder, and CEO of Einride. “We are excited to open up an entirely new category of jobs that will not only benefit the industries currently employees with improved hours, working conditions, and knowledge but reinvigorate a dying employment sector for the next wave of job seekers.”