Einride's address to the Nordic Prime Ministers, Örnsköldsvik, May 23

2018-05-23
May 23, Einride addressed the Nordic Prime Ministers during a display of the Einride pod, at a Nordic cooperation meeting in Örnsköldsvik, Northern Sweden, hosted by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

At the meeting, the Nordic countries announced a deepened cooperation on 5G, aiming to make the Nordic region the first interconnected 5G region in the world.

Einride’s address in full:

Prime Ministers,

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the city of Codrington. It is a small town, situated on the island of Barbuda, in the eastern Caribbean – a popular tourist destination, apparently, due to its moderate climate.

Or, rather, that is what it used to be.

Last year, it was turned into a wasteland, as a hurricane hit the coastline, destroying 90 percent of the buildings.

Climate change didn’t cause hurricane Irma. But the consensus among scientists is that the effects of climate change made the storm far more destructive.

Climate change is real and it’s already affecting communities all over the world ravaging infrastructure, destroying businesses, driving people from their homes.

The good news is that it’s in our power do something about it.

Road transport isn’t the biggest culprit. But heavy trucks are responsible for a substantial part of global CO2 emissions. What if we could eliminate those emissions entirely, by replacing diesel with electricity? Technology has progressed to make it happen. And Nordic companies and governments are leading the way.

This is the Einride pod, the first truck specifically designed for electric propulsion and autonomous driving. This is intelligent movement: safe, cost-efficient and sustainable.

A fleet of these will be coordinated by an intelligent routing system, optimizing delivery time, battery life and energy consumption, making the journey from A to B as efficient as possible, and conventional, unsustainable technology practically obsolete.

The Einride pod can drive itself or be remotely controlled, in this case from Asta Zero, a proving ground outside Gothenburg.

Equipped with cameras, lidars and radars, it has 360-degree awareness of its surroundings – no blind spots, no dead angles. It doesn’t get drunk, and it doesn’t doze off.

Most of you will know about Vision Zero, the Swedish road safety approach, that aims for zero road traffic fatalities. With autonomous vehicles like this, “zero” becomes a viable goal. Not just a vision, something to strive for. But a target that can realistically be achieved.

And let me stress: This is not science fiction. This fall, the Einride pod will be installed at DB Schenker in Jönköping for a pilot. If everything goes according to plan, Einride pods will soon traffic the roads on Schenker markets around the world – starting with the Nordic countries.

All it takes is modernized traffic regulations. And robust, minimal latency telecommunications, as enabled by 5G.

Truckers will benefit, as they are redeployed as operators of autonomous vehicles. The environment will benefit – and so will every coastline community in the world.

Technology has progressed to make it happen. It’s time for hearts and minds to follow.