Swedish autonomous and electric freight technology leader Einride made history with its groundbreaking Pod, becoming the first vehicle of its kind to complete a lap and set a record for the Top Gear track at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, United Kingdom.
This achievement comes on the heels of the debut of the next generation Pod, which was unveiled last week and will be made commercially available worldwide, with highway-capable models being delivered to partners by 2023.
The Pod is the first autonomous, electric heavy transport vehicle to record a lap at this track. The full Top Gear circuit was used for the demonstration, including such famous corners as Chicago, Hammerhead, follow-through, and Gambon. The track is famously featured on BBC’s popular Top Gear show, and has hosted laps of some of the fastest vehicles in the world.
“With the launch of our next-generation Pod, we set our sights higher than ever to deliver Autonomous Electric Transport (AET) to the world sooner than many believed to be possible. This record-setting demonstration is our way of showing the world that we are ready to scale this technology, commercially and in terms of capability,” said Falck.
At a top speed of over 80 km/h on the track showcasing the ability of this groundbreaking vehicle to be operated at the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) speed limit for the European Union. This capability will be crucial for AET 4 autonomous operation when it is delivered to customers internationally in the coming years.
“This is a major milestone and shows how far this technology has evolved through the diligent work of the Einride team. This showcase gives us the confidence to start to expand and deploy this technology in a new context. It is our way of displaying our AET 4 – Highway solution in practice, for which we have already started development and are excited to deliver to customers by 2023,” said Pär Degerman, CTO of Einride.
Continuing its record-setting tour in the U.K., the Pod will also complete a run at the Goodwood circuit in Chichester, England for the Goodwood Festival of Speed over the weekend, again becoming the first vehicle of its kind to do so.
“Operating an autonomous and electric transport vehicle at this type of speed and in these conditions is a major achievement, and one that shows our technology is prepared to meet a wide range of typical freight operating conditions. Our team has been dedicated to making this possible for months, and we are proud of everyone involved for their hard work,” said Robert Falck, CEO of Einride.