DB Schenker and Einride partner to trial driverless electric trucks

DB Schenker and Einride have received approval from the Swedish Transport Agency to pilot driverless electric trucks on public roads.
In November last year, Einride and DB Schenker initiated the first installation of an autonomous, all-electric truck or “T-pod” at a DB Schenker facility in Jönköping, Sweden. It was the first commercial installation of its kind in the world.
“Autonomous trucks will become increasingly important for the logistics sector. Together with Einride, we are now able to introduce autonomous, fully electric trucks to a continuous flow on a public road – a milestone in the transition to the transport system of tomorrow,” Jochen Thewes, CEO of DB Schenker said.
On March 7 the Swedish Transport Agency and Einride conducted a so-called Site Acceptance Test (SAT) – a test under real-world conditions – at the facility in Jönköping.
The government agency concluded that the T-pod is able operate in accordance with Swedish traffic regulations. March 11, Einride’s application to expand the pilot to a public road was approved.
“Heavy road transport is responsible for a substantial part of global CO2 emissions. The pilot in Jönköping is a small but important step towards a sustainable transport system. The permit from the Swedish Transport Agency is an important testimonial to the safety of the solution,” Robert Falck, CEO and founder of Einride said.
Daily transport between a warehouse and a terminal will commence during spring.
The permit applies to a short distance on a public road within an industrial area – between a warehouse and a terminal – where traffic speeds are typically low. The permit is valid until December 31, 2020.
Einride and DB Schenker initiated their partnership in April 2018. The agreement includes the pilot in Jönköping and an option for additional pilots internationally.
Ericsson and Telia provides the installation with high performance, 5G-based connectivity.

Global logistics spending expected to reach $10.6 trillion by 2020

Recent research revealed by Frost & Sullivan finds that global logistics spending is expected to reach $10.6 trillion in 2020, with transportation accounting for the majority at 70%.
Emerging technologies such as cloud computing, big data, and crowd sourcing, coupled with an influx of tech-savvy start-ups, are revolutionising the space of urban logistics.
About two fifths of the overall logistics costs are associated with the last mile that are forcing providers to come up with newer innovative solutions to deliver packages within cities.
The research predicts the logistics market will rapidly move toward mobile freight brokerage-type, on-demand deliveries and autonomous technology, such as the use of drones and delivery bots which are set to solve the last mile delivery challenge by being more cost-effective to end users with lesser regulatory mandates.
“Spiralling last-mile delivery costs and changing customer demands are causing retailers to rethink their strategies and look toward new business models such as click-and-collect, locker boxes, on-demand and autonomous solutions,” said Vijay Narayanan Natarajan, Visionary Innovation Senior Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Moreover, the influx of start-ups in logistics has enabled innovative solutions that not only provide value-creation customized solutions for the consumer, but also tackle the inefficiencies currently witnessed.”
Further trends and developments driving growth include:

  • Digital freight brokering platforms reducing empty miles by 8% to 10%;
  • Shift toward low-emission and zero-emission solutions, such as use of low-carbon vehicles or bicycles;
  • Fleet operators expanding their strategies by developing urban distribution centers for effective logistics management; and
  • Retailers focusing on compact stores to reduce capital expenditure and bring products closer to a growing urban customer base.
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