Do not worry, the T-pod was safe from public roads. The company had set up a mini-course at AstaZero, a test site outside Gothenburg, Sweden. A short loop and limited speeds of up to 8 km / h or just under 5 km / h kept the situation under control. Einride also had on-site staff to help monitor the waves of novice truckers behind the wheel, and I also had someone near here in Spain, to make sure of the keep between the lines.
The driver's seat looked like something you would use to play Forza. Basically, there was a racing seat with pedals ready to play and a steering wheel. On the front, a group of six screens gave me a wide view, as if it were seen from the windshield of a truck. Do not forget that the T-pod has no cab and that its six cameras are therefore indispensable for remote monitoring. Indeed, all these images are projected on the screens, including what would be the side mirrors and three cameras offering multiple viewing angles behind the vehicle. This would prove invaluable as the short course had a stop sign and a construction area to face.
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Although the T-pod is completely autonomous, the law still requires human supervision. The goal is to eventually use a remote control configuration such as this, allowing a single driver to monitor the entire truck fleet, perhaps up to 10 at a time. The demonstration here in Barcelona took place on the Ericsson 5G, which offers extremely low latency thanks to the increased speed. After all, you would not want the offset to be a concern when you drive a truck several tons away. If a T-pod was approaching a work area on the road, for example, a distant driver could take control, drive the truck around danger, and then let him sail alone on the rest of the road.
Autonomous vehicles such as the Einride T-pod will likely play an important role in the future of shipping logistics. And the ability, and reliability, to remotely control them is an important part of getting these vehicles off the ground. Although it was only a demonstration at the MWC, it seems that Einride and Ericsson are on track to find a viable solution.
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