While many consumers are waiting in anticipation for autonomous vehicles to come to market so they can be driven wherever they want to go, the first place many expect autonomous vehicles to surface is in the commercial industry. A company called Einride has announced that its next-generation Pod is now available worldwide. The Pod features an updated design and new functionality.
The next-gen Pod has new functionality and pricing, and this is the first time it’s been available globally. The Pod has been testing at customer sites in Sweden. It promises to allow businesses to ship freight sustainably and cost-competitively using Autonomous Electric Transportation (AET) coordinated by an intelligent freight mobility platform.
The new Pod has a refined design that is more aerodynamic and functional. The vehicle is available for reservation now and promises to allow companies to replace diesel transportation solutions with a safer, more sustainable, and cost-effective form of transportation. Einride says the Pod is a novel vehicle and doesn’t fit into existing standards. It has no driver compartment and is only able to operate autonomously.
Pod operates on an AET classification system developed by the company itself, ranging from levels 1 to 5, with levels 1 to 4 available for preorder now. AET 1 (Fenced) is intended for closed facilities with predetermined routes best suited for fully-autonomous action. AET 2 (Nearby) includes close facility operation adding the capability to operate on public roads over short distances between destinations. Pods supporting both of those classifications can be preordered now and will begin shipping next year.
AET 3 (Rural) allows operation on back roads and less congested main roads between facilities at a maximum speed of 45 KM/H. AET 4 (Highway) is fully autonomous and can operate on freeways and other major roads at up to 85 KM/H. Both of these levels are available for reserved now and will ship to customers in 2022-2023.
The first two levels can be reserved for $1500 initially with an additional $8500 invoice after the reservation. Both models also have an operational fee of $18,000 monthly for AET 1 and $19,000 monthly for AET 2. When available, AET 3 vehicles will cost $20,000 per month to operate with AET 4 costing $22,500 per month. Pods are only sold via a subscription fee and include access to the freight mobility platform overseen by certified remote operators.