GE tests autonomous vehicle in Tennessee

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by Emily Atkins

GE Appliances has been using a fully autonomous truck to move products between its facilities in Selmer, Tennessee.

Einride completed the two-week public road pilot of its autonomous electric vehicle after receiving the first U.S. approval for operations of this new type of vehicle from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) earlier this year. The tests were done without a safety driver aboard.

“The completion of this pilot is a momentous step in the operations of autonomous heavy duty road freight in the U.S.,” said Robert Falck, CEO and founder at Einride.

“This shows how Einride’s new type of vehicle, one that has reshaped the future of shipping, is here today and unlocking real industry change.”

Working with state and county officials and GE Appliances staff, the Einride autonomous vehicle conducted the safe movement of goods between GE Appliances’s manufacturing facility and warehouse. Einride also partnered with Ericsson, which provided a private connectivity network for seamless vehicle functionality and to enable an operator to remotely monitor the vehicle.

GE Appliances’ Selmer, TN facility was chosen as the pilot launch site due to the nature of the environment for safe testing of operations while meeting the real demand for movement of goods.

“In order to lead, you have to think ahead and think differently,” said Harry Chase, senior director of central materials for GE Appliances.

“Working with Einride on this pilot on public roads in Tennessee helped us better envision and understand what we need to do differently to be at the forefront of autonomous and EV implementation. At GE Appliances, we believe you need to continuously experiment with new technology in order to learn.”

Einride operates one of the largest fleets of electric vehicles in Europe and the U.S., with the partnership with GE Appliances deploying both autonomous and electric vehicles starting in October 2021. Since then, GE Appliances has doubled its connected electric fleet of Einride Trucks and is leveraging Einride’s intelligent freight mobility platform, Einride Saga, to reduce emissions throughout its supply chains.

Founded in 2016, Einride became the first company to pioneer a freight mobility grid by deploying an autonomous, electric vehicle on a public road (Sweden, 2019). In 2022, it was the first company to receive approval to operate the vehicle on a U.S. public road.