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February 27, 2020 5:15 PM, EST

Einride to Hire Autonomous Truck Operators in Sweden, US

EinrideAn Einride vehicle. (Einride)

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Swedish technology company Einride on Feb. 27 announced plans to hire two autonomous truck operators over the next year.

Einride designs, develops and sells driverless electrified trucks and logistical solutions. The company expects to fill the first spot in March.

“Today, our autonomous pods are operated by developers,” Einride CEO Robert Falck said in a statement. “Robot engineers trained to drive trucks. A commercially scalable solution must rely on truck drivers, trained to remote-operate robots. The ins and outs of that future is what we’re investigating now, by involving truck drivers in the process.”

Einride

Falck

Sweden will be the initial testing ground, with the company planning to hire an operator from that country. Einride then plans to hire an operator during the third quarter in the United States. Both will be on the road the quarter after they are hired.

Einride expects the trucking industry to change fundamentally as self-driving technology is implemented more regularly. The company made the decision to hire a former truck driver as its first dedicated autonomous truck operator in the hope of opening a new category of jobs.

The operator will have a few core responsibilities as the centerpiece of this pilot program. He or she will work closely with a tech team to provide feedback on the development of remote driver stations along with training and the actual job tasks. The plan includes a nine-month trial period which will incorporate a research and development phase.

Einride sees the transition to driverless trucks as a way to renew the industry and reduce emissions.

Host Seth Clevenger went to CES 2020 in Las Vegas and met with Rich Mohr of Ryder Fleet Management Solutions and Stephan Olsen of the Paccar Innovation Center to discuss how high-tech the industry has become. Listen to a snippet above, and to hear the full episode, go to RoadSigns.TTNews.com.

“The continued development of autonomous vehicles will place new demands on the workforce and raises questions about the future working environment of drivers/operators,” Falck said. “We are excited to open up an entirely new category of jobs.”

Falck said employee benefits would include improved hours and working conditions.

American Trucking Associations found the U.S. needed 51,000 more truck drivers than were working at the time in 2017, and those numbers are rising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 12% growth in computer and information technology jobs during the period of 2014 to 2024, which also could benefit the trucking industry.

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