|Einride cleared to operate on public U.S. roads, will start in Tennessee this year|
Swedish autonomous-truck startup Einride has received regulatory approval to operate its trucks on public U.S. roadways and will begin doing so this year, the company said Thursday.
Einride will launch a pilot program in Tennessee with GE Appliances in the third quarter. The project will help the self-driving truck company showcase the ability of its Pod truck, which is built without a traditional front cab. The company said it received the go-ahead to drive on public roadways from NHTSA.
Einride CEO Robert Falck said gaining NHTSA approval is a significant moment for the company as it looks to expand its presence in the U.S. Einride opened its U.S. headquarters in New York in October and began setting up regional operations in California and Austin, Texas.
"For us, it's all about scaling from here on out," Falck told Automotive News.
Einride has been testing on public roadways in Europe since 2019. In the U.S., it had been relegated to private-road testing because current laws and regulations only allow traditional vehicle manufacturers to test vehicles that don't conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards on public roads.
Utilizing provisions within "Part 591" of the federal government's regulations, Einride can import vehicles that may be tested on public roads. Now that it has that regulatory approval, Falck said there's potential for the company to grow faster in the U.S.
"The U.S. is the most competitive marketplace in the world, and transport is the backbone of that economy," he said. "The U.S. will be the first to have a built-out system of autonomous, electric transport solutions, and it's due to the fact that every dollar counts in the U.S., and people are not afraid to try new technologies."
— John Irwin