June 6, 2023
Electric and autonomous trucking company Einride is moving into the United Arab Emirates.
The Swedish company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Middle East country to develop a freight mobility grid called Falcon Rise that would cover 341 miles and encompass 2,000 electric vehicles (EVs), 200 autonomous vehicles (AVs), eight charging stations and more than 500 charging points.
The MOU was signed with the UAE’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and marks the latest stage in Einride’s ambitious expansion program, which until now has focused on Europe and the United States.
Einride’s freight ecosystem is based on a grid system that is planned, optimized and monitored using the Einride Saga platform. In the case of Falcon Rise, it would stretch across Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai, with the claimed benefits including significantly reduced emissions, improved management of road freight and uninterrupted operations.
The plan is for Falcon Rise to be developed over the next five years.
“This collaboration gets to the core of what Einride provides – the transformation to effective and sustainable shipping that is fully electric,” said Robert Falck, Einride’s CEO and founder. “By partnering on this deal, we’ll be able to showcase how entire regions are able to make the switch in an intelligent and cost-effective way.”
Sharif Al-Olama, MOEI’s undersecretary for energy and petroleum affairs, added: “The establishment of the UAE Falcon Rise grid represents a significant milestone in our journey toward sustainable and intelligent transportation.”
The UAE deal is the second major announcement from Einride in a matter of months, following confirmation in April that it intends to establish a similar mobility grid in the United Kingdom, based in the heart of England, linking major cities such as London, Birmingham and Manchester. Einride is also working on establishing its tech in the United States and Germany, plus the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway.
The intelligent transportation highlighted by Sharif Al-Olama refers to Einride’s ongoing effort to develop fully autonomous trucks. This has seen the company push forward with testing of its remarkably styled pod truck, which does without a cabin because there is no need for an onboard safety driver. An array of radar and lidar sensors and cameras help to deliver the self-driving functionality, and it is monitored remotely by human operators.
Last year, the AV completed testing on public roads near the General Electric Appliances factory in Selmer, Tennessee.
The UAE has shown its determination to be a world leader in innovative mobility solutions over the past couple of years, with an array of dramatic initiatives. Dubai in particular is leading the way, revealing plans for autonomous boats and showcasing the potential of air taxis. It will also see Cruise self-driving taxis introduced later this year.
Dubai wants 25% of all journeys to be completed autonomously by 2030.
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