Einride has deployed its AV (autonomous vehicle) in operations with Haier’s GE Appliances, marking an important step in the integration of autonomous transportation supporting full-time commercial flows. The daily transport of finished goods is between GE Appliances’ manufacturing facility and warehouse in Selmer, TN, enabling up to seven shuttles a day, Monday through Thursday, showcasing how Einride’s (FaaS) freight capacity-as-a-service model can be enabled with AVs.
“We are very proud to partner with GEA and be able to lead the industry in providing autonomous technology and deploying it in the strongest commercial use case today,” said Henrik Green, General Manager, of Autonomous Technologies at Einride.
This long-term deployment follows previous pilots with GE Appliances, first in a gated environment at the company’s Appliance Park headquarters in 2021, followed by the first public road pilot in the U.S. for a purpose-built autonomous truck without a driver on board in Selmer in 2022.
“Our partnership with Einride in Selmer reflects our evolved approach to robotics and automation technology,” said Harry Chase, Senior Director of Central Materials at GE Appliances. “We are moving from implementing one-off solutions addressing various challenges to creating interoperability among systems that can build consistency and streamline processes in our factories and throughout our supply chain.”
In November 2022, Einride revealed its latest Gen 2 Rigid Large AET (autonomous electric truck), with development based on key customer needs resulting in an updated design with a better, more durable, and safer design. The vehicle now has a larger cargo hold, improved optics, updated sensors and camera systems, higher maximum speed, better connectivity, and night-vision capabilities—allowing for additional deployment use cases. Einride’s connectivity partner Ericsson provided the private network to ensure reliable communication between the vehicle and the remote operator on site.
This GE Appliances implementation in Selmer is helping reduce emissions, allowing employees to focus on high-value tasks, reducing traffic in congested areas to create a safer work environment, and eliminating some of the most challenging ergonomic tasks like climbing on and off a forklift and hooking and unhooking trailers.
The Einride AET is part of a larger interoperability project in Selmer, with additional GE Appliances partners including TaskWatch and Slip Robotics, to create an automated logistics flow that improves employee ergonomics/safety and increases efficiency around the loading docks.
TaskWatch’s AI (artificial intelligence) cameras trigger a control board to raise and lower the dock door and plate, lock the Einride AV into place, and notify the Slip robot that the AV is ready for autonomous loading or unloading.
According to Slip Robotics, 25% of industrial accidents involve a loading dock. Its solution, which it calls the fastest automated trailer loading and unloading system (ATLS), removes the need for operators to enter trailers to load, unload, or secure. The ATLS reduces trailer loading and unloading time by 89% and lead time to the destination by up to 50%. It can load eight times as many trailers with the same number of operators by reducing waste in movement vs. current trailer loading processes while reducing material handling damage by 40% by cutting down touches and impacts.
“We believe robotics and automation technology should work with and for people to improve their jobs,” concluded Chase.