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Cabless, driverless trucks now in full time use at Tennessee warehouse

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Einride announced on Monday that their autonomous electric vehicle technology has been deployed on a full time basis at a Tennessee warehouse

Swedish-based Einride announced that their “unmanned” vehicles are in use Monday through Thursday transporting finished goods between GE Appliances’ manufacturing facility and warehouse in Selmer, Tennessee. The vehicles are designed without any cab, seating, or controls to accommodate use by a human driver.

Einride says that the autonomous vehicles make as many as seven trips per day between the manufacturing facility and the warehouse.

“Remote operator” Tiffany Heathcott is on-site to monitor the vehicle operations, the company says.

The Verge reports that the unmanned truck trips are all taking place on private roadways and that the distance covered is about a third of a mile per trip.

The Einride operations are made even more fully autonomous through integration with partner companies TaskWatch and Slip robotics.

“TaskWatch’s AI cameras trigger a control board to raise and lower the dock doors, dock plate, lock the Einride autonomous vehicle into place and notify the Slip robot that the autonomous vehicle is ready for loading. The Slip then autonomously loads and unloads the vehicle, reducing loading times by 80%,” Einride said.

Einride and GE were involved in previous pilot programs in a “gated environment at the company’s Appliance Park headquarters in 2021, followed by the first public road pilot in the US for a purpose built autonomous, electric truck without a driver on board in Selmer in 2022.”

“We are very proud to partner with GEA and be able to lead the industry in providing autonomous technology and deploying it in the strongest commercial use case today,” said Henrik Green, General Manager, Autonomous Technologies at Einride. “We look forward to continuing this work to establish autonomous’ key role in transportation, both with GEA and other partners across markets.”

“Our partnership with Einride in Selmer reflects our evolved approach to robotics and automation technology,” says Harry Chase, Senior Director of Central Materials at GE Appliances. “We are moving from implementing one-off solutions addressing various challenges to creating interoperability among systems that can build consistency and streamline processes in our factories and throughout our supply chain. This implementation in Selmer is helping us reduce emissions, allowing our employees to focus on high value tasks, reducing traffic in congested areas to create a safer work environment, and eliminating some of the most challenging ergonomic tasks like climbing on and off a forklift and hooking and unhooking trailers. We believe robotics and automation technology should work with and for people to improve their jobs.” 

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