Einride is a company based in Sweden, and last year they rolled this white vehicle out onto public roads for testing, drawing lots of eyeballs:
That's the Pod, Einride's electric, fully autonomous delivery van. "Designed for the majority of freight applications," the Pod is ready to roll out, though it's not for sale; instead customers cough up a $10,000 buy-in fee, then pay a monthly charge, depending on what level of automation is required.
As for what those levels are: Because the Pod is not a passenger vehicle, and thus does not slot neatly into the mess that is the SAE's autonomous vehicle levels, Einride has proposed their own, more sensible four-level standard called Autonomous Electric Transport. Those standards are:
Fenced - AET 1
Closed facilities with predetermined routes and a controlled environment.
Estimated monthly service fee: $18,000
Nearby - AET 2
Short shipments on routes that utilize public roads as well as fenced areas.
Estimated monthly service fee: $19,000
Rural - AET 3
Deliveries between destinations on established back road routes with limited traffic.
Estimated monthly service fee: $20,000
Highway - AET 4
High-speed operation on major roads and highways between shipping destinations.
Estimated monthly service fee: $22,500
Regardless of AET level, all of the trucks can be run 20 hours a day, with four hours of downtime needed for recharging. Levels AET 1 and 2 are available for order now, with delivery starting in early 2021. Levels AET 3 and 4 can be reserved now, but won't start shipping until 2022 at the earliest.
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