NEW YORK - A Swedish startup has now presented a new prototype: the T-Log, an autonomous battery-electric vehicle designed for transporting lumber. The vehicle was unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in New York City today.
The Level 4 autonomous vehicle can carry loads up to 16 tons and drive on narrow and uneven forest roads. It is expected to be ready to roll in 2020.
The debut follows a number of developments in trucking technology, with solutions aimed at one of industry's key pain points: transportation and logistics. Uber has been developing self-driving freight trucks, with one making driving 120 miles to deliver a shipment of Budweiser beer. Tesla announced it is developing an electric freight truck, and has been testing them on the road. (See video below.) The U.S. Army is developing autonomous trucks that would be fueled by wood or other biomass.
In the case of the T-Log, the e-transporter is fitted with a 300 kWh battery, and can achieve a range up to 118 miles. The price was announced at around $100,000, and the truck is even more powerful than the T-pod, an the all-electric, autonomous truck Einride revealed last year – the T-log incorporates some off-road capabilities and is designed to navigate forest roads.
“Einride is constantly pushing the boundaries of autonomous and all-electric vehicles," said Robert Falck, CEO of Einride. "With the T-log, we’ve created a vehicle that can withstand the rigors of a demanding environment. It is uncharted territory for us, but also an enormous market for battery-powered AVs.”
The T-Log vehicle is powered by the Nvidia Drive self-driving platform, the T-log is capable of SEA level 4 self-driving. It has no driver’s cab, but can be remote-controlled by a human operator, from hundreds of miles away using Phantom Auto teleoperation technology, said to provide robust, minimal latency telecommunications even with 4G. It features no driver’s cab, allowing for a smaller vehicle, increased loading capacity, greater flexibility, lower production costs, lower operating costs and optimized energy consumption, allowing the T-log to run solely on batteries, even in difficult environments.
Connected to an intelligent routing software, providing it with real-time traffic data, the T-log can adjust its route to avoid congestion miles ahead. A fleet of T-logs will be coordinated by an intelligent routing system, optimizing delivery time, battery life and energy consumption, making the transport as efficient as possible.
“The driver’s cab is what makes trucks expensive to produce, and having a driver in the cabin is what makes them expensive to operate," said Falck. "Remove the cabin and replace the driver with an operator who can monitor and remote-control several vehicles at once and costs can be reduced significantly.”
A safe, healthy and green alternative to diesel
Emitting no greenhouse gases or toxic nitrogen oxides, the T-log is an environmentally and health friendly alternative to diesel powered trucks. Equipped with cameras, lidars and radars, it has 360-degree awareness of its surroundings – no blind spots, no dead angles.
Robert Falck said: “Heavy road transport is responsible for a substantial part of global CO2 emissions. Add to that the tens of thousands of people who die every year from NOx pollution – effectively poisoned by diesel fumes – and you have every reason to look for a more sustainable alternative. The T-log eliminates those emissions entirely, by replacing diesel with electricity. Technology has progressed to make it happen. And because it can be done, it must be done.” https://www.einride.tech
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