Swedish Driverless Truck – New Hope for a Sustainable Future
Text: Anna Bjur Photo: Adrian Beck
How can we change the transport industry fundamentally? Robert Falck, CEO of Einride, sees the chance with the T-pod, the company’s electric and self-driving truck, reducing transport CO2 emissions by 60 percent by 2030; “it is clearly feasible”.
Entrepreneurship and innovation is a common theme in Robert Falck’s resumé. As a new graduate from Chalmers, he, through the University, got the opportunity to work at Stanford, where he learned parts of what would later become Google’s self-driving team:
– I had some insight into the project from the start, and had the opportunity to test the car, which sparked my interest in autonomous vehicles. During my years in the United States, I also got to know one of my personal role models Dan Werbin, former CEO of Ford’s premium group and perhaps more importantly, one of the driving forces behind the Volvo 850. He had a straightforward and clear lesson for me, “make sure that you learn something”. Therefore, I chose to become a trainee at Volvo Trucks and started working as a production engineer on the floor in Tuve after the years in the United States. One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received which is why today I know trucks from the inside out.
In parallel with the work as global engineering manager for assembly at Volvo Powertrain, Robert Falck has started and operated several companies, such as The Great Wild, an Airbnb solution for hunting enthusiasts:
– A year ago, I decided to leave Volvo to focus wholeheartedly on Einride, focusing on how to fundamentally change the transport industry.
He feels that there is no drive in the industry. Existing players are competent, but at the same time there is plenty of room for something new and a big aspiration for change – from both customers and society:
– Our mission is to drive development towards a sustainable society. We have set the ambition to work towards reducing CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2025. By 2030, our goal is to reduce emissions by 30 percent more, says Robert Falck and adds;
– When fully established and expanded, our system can replace all truck transport in Sweden and make it electrically based. Thanks to our self-driving technology, we can create cost-effective and simple opportunities for the transport sector to switch to electric transport completely.
During the fall, Einride worked actively with business development together with a number of associates and also built prototypes of the driverless truck. The ambition is to introduce them and the company market partners, for the first time at Almedalen, this summer:
– Einride consists of a team that all strive for the same thing – to make a change. Our goal is to create the future transport supplier. To me, the T-pod and Einride are the obvious options for a sustainable transport solution.
Today, the transport sector accounts for 25 percent of total emissions in the world. If Einride’s solution can reduce emissions by 60 percent, then it is something to strive for says, Robert Falck:
– Basically, we want to make the world a bit better, which is also our duty and obligation when we have the right tools. Sweden has a unique position when it comes to both climate and social responsibility. We should show that together we can lead the world towards a sustainable future, concludes Robert Falck.
“Einride is transforming the existing transport chain from the ground up. The big companies behind long haul trucks keep building bigger trucks to increase efficiency, which ultimately means even more emissions. We are changing that by creating a secure solution that is, not only cost effective, but dramatically minimizes the negative environmental impact of the transportation industry.”
– Filip Lilja, COO at Einride
Read more at einride.eu