Einride, a Swedish-based remote operated autonomous trucking and transportation company, announced today that they will be hiring their first remote drivers in Sweden in March 2020 and in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2020.
“We are very glad to hire someone that will be taking the jobs of the future,” Robert Falck, CEO and founder of Einride, told FreightWaves. The job will pay more than a traditional truck driver position and comes with other lifestyle benefits, according to Falck.
“They [operators] don’t need to sleep in a vehicle,” he said. “They can work in an office environment and then go home.”
Founded in 2016, Einride has carved out a niche in the autonomous trucking sector with its sleek “T-Pod” trucks that use electric propulsion and don’t have a cab or driver.
Instead, a remote operator can take control of the vehicle when the driving conditions require human intervention, such as backing up in a complex environment or making a difficult left turn.
The company doesn’t sell its trucks but instead hauls freight as a service. It is currently ferrying goods between warehouses for six Fortune 500 and 15 other customers in Sweden, among them Axfood, one of Sweden’s largest food retailers, and logistics provider DB Schenker.
Under the remote operator program, the new hires will participate in a structured rollout plan that includes a 9-month training, research and development phase. The operators will be former truck drivers, according to Falck.
The work is “surprisingly much the same,” he said. “You have to have respect for design. You have to have respect for the operation of a big vehicle.”
Falck declined to discuss where in the U.S. the company would deploy its trucks, saying only that about 50 pods would be in service by the end of 2020 in both Europe and the U.S.
Einride’s expansion comes as investors moderate their enthusiasm for self-driving vehicle companies. As FreightWaves reported earlier this week, another remote operated autonomous startup, Starsky Robotics, is struggling to find a buyer after failing to secure additional funding.
Einride has raised a total of $32.5 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. Their latest funding was raised in October from a Series A round.