Swedish tech start-up Einride revealed its latest product: The T-log, an autonomous, all-electric logging truck, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. More powerful than the T-pod – the all-electric, autonomous truck Einride revealed in 2017 – the T-log incorporates some off-road capabilities and is designed to navigate forest roads.
“Einride is constantly pushing the boundaries of autonomous and all-electric vehicles in our ambition to lead the transition to a sustainable transportation system," said Robert Falck, CEO of Einride. " With the T-log, we’ve created a vehicle that can withstand the rigors of a demanding environment. It is uncharted territory for us, but also an enormous market for battery-powered AVs.”
Powered by the Nvidia Drive self-driving platform, the T-log is capable of SAE level 4 self-driving. It has no driver’s cab but can be remote-controlled by a human operator from hundreds of miles away using Phantom Auto teleoperation safety technology, designed to provide robust, minimal-latency telecommunications even with 4G. No driver’s cab enables a smaller vehicle, increased loading capacity, greater flexibility, lower production costs, lower operating costs and optimized energy consumption, allowing the T-log to run solely on batteries, even in difficult environments, said the company.
Connected to an intelligent routing software providing it with real-time traffic data, the T-log can adjust its route to avoid congestion miles ahead. A fleet of T-logs will be coordinated by an intelligent routing system, optimizing delivery time, battery life, and energy consumption, making the transport as efficient as possible.
Falck added: “The driver’s cab is what makes trucks expensive to produce, and having a driver in the cabin is what makes them expensive to operate. Remove the cabin and replace the driver with an operator who can monitor and remote-control several vehicles at once, and costs can be reduced significantly. In addition, operating a vehicle from a distance allows for a much better working environment, as has already been demonstrated in industries like mining.”
Emitting no greenhouse gases or nitrogen oxides, the T-log is an environmentally and health friendly alternative to diesel-powered trucks, says the company. Equipped with cameras, lidars and radars, it has 360-degree awareness of its surroundings – no blind spots, no dead angles.
“Heavy road transport is responsible for a substantial part of global CO2 emissions," Falck said. "Add to that the tens of thousands of people who die every year from NOx pollution – effectively poisoned by diesel fumes – and you have every reason to look for a more sustainable alternative. The T-log eliminates those emissions entirely, by replacing diesel with electricity. Technology has progressed to make it happen. And because it can be done, it must be done.”