Barely four years have passed since I first met Linnéa Kornehed and Robert Falck at Café Venetia in Palo Alto, and a lot has happened since then. The two, who have since also tied the knot, were visiting a logistics conference at the time and to make contacts in Silicon Valley. What was only in its infancy at the time has morphed dramatically.
In January 2018, the Einride team prepared for the first test drives with their brand-new, electric T-Pod for the supermarket chain Lidl in Sweden, where the driverless pod was to travel a few kilometers between a central warehouse and a branch. Four years later, Einride has begun test drives in the U.S. and launched a second generation of the T-Pod. The Level 4-capable driverless pods are already in commercial use for customers such as Coca Cola, SKF and Lidl has also brought on board another set of customers for the U.S. market, including Bridgestone and GE Appliances.
For its U.S. launch, Einride introduced a new range of products, such as Einride Saga, a freight transportation operating system that enables carriers to access a roadmap for cost-effective electrification and automation, order and track shipments, and monitor routes and assignments and visualize data and gain insights
The second version of the T-Pod is a low loader, which allows to place a container on the vehicle.
Also of particular interest is the Remote Driving capability, where a teleoperator can temporarily take control of the vehicle.
And before I forget, I have to apologize to both of them, especially Linnéa. I myself fell into the typical stereotype trap that the main character has to be the man (i.e. Robert), yet Linnnéa is Einride’s co-founder, Chief Marketing Officer and Deputy CEO, and thus largely responsible for the success of the last few years. And all this at an age I’ve long looked back on with nostalgia. It became clear to me as I followed the two of them over the years since we met in Palo Alto and learned how important Linnéa’s role is at Einride. I hope, Linnéa, you can forgive me. I will try to ask better questions in the future and not make stereotypical assumptions about the roles of each founder.
And another thing: you can also measure the success of Einride by other standards. Namely, when one’s own technology enters futuristic popular culture, as I was able to discover in France a few weeks ago. A French comic album called Asphalt Blues by Joauen Salaün depicted the T-Pod on page 59 as a typical component of a future Paris.
This article was also published in German.