Ericsson, Telia keep on truckin' with 5G

Nick Wood
By Nick Wood

Nov 7, 2018

via Ericsson

via Ericsson

  • Driverless trucks to make up 15 percent of US sales by 2035
  • Companies insist 5G will be the cornerstone of autonomous driving
  • Driverless vehicles pre-date 5G by quite some time

Ericsson and Telia have shown off how 5G can enable environmentally-friendly, autonomous road haulage by partnering with Swedish transport company Einride.

The companies are providing connectivity to Einride's 'T-pod', an electric, driverless truck that has already been put into commercial use at logistics firm DB Schenker's facility in Jönköping, Sweden.

While not as easy on the eye as a sleek saloon, trucks are perhaps one of, if not the most important segments of the electric/driverless vehicle sector, given issues with pollution and driver fatigue and so-on.

Despite this, IHS Automotive predicts that in the US – where truckers frequently cover huge distances – sales of autonomous, self-driving trucks are expected to reach just 60,000 by 2035. That's just 15 percent of total big truck sales in the US. In contrast, almost 5 million driverless cars are expected to be hurtling around US roads by then. Worldwide, global sales of driverless cars are expected to reach 21 million by 2035.

Unsurprisingly, Ericsson and Telia argue that 5G will provide the all-important capacity and reliability to take driverless trucking to the next level, but it's worth remembering that autonomous vehicle development already advanced quite a long way before the genesis of 5G. The pressure is on the telecoms industry to demonstrate where 5G truly makes the difference.

Full press release below:

Nov 7, 2018 08:00 (GMT+0:00)

  • Ericsson, Telia and Einride are creating a significantly more sustainable transport ecosystem by connecting electric, autonomous vehicles; reduction or elimination of harmful emissions
  • 5G is a key enabler of sustainable transport providing the connectivity and reliability needed to safely introduce autonomous trucks onto public roads  
  • Ericsson’s Cloud Core for 5G powers the first commercial installation of Einride’s Autonomous Electric Transportation (AET) system

Einride, Ericsson and Telia are putting 5G into motion at a DB Schenker facility in Jönköping, Sweden. The goal is to power an all-electric, autonomous transport ecosystem that takes fleet management to the next level.

Ericsson Radio System and Ericsson Cloud Core for 5G are providing high performance connectivity to Einride’s T-pod – a driverless vehicle operating continuously at DB Schenker’s logistics facilities in Jönköping, Sweden.

Robert Falck, CEO and Founder of Einride, says: “Our driving mission is to lead the sustainable transition of road freight transportation. 5G provides the connectivity and reliability we need to safely introduce the T-pod onto public roads, paving the way for a 90 percent reduction in CO2 emissions and the elimination of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.”

Ewald Kaiser, Chief Operating Officer, DB Schenker, says: “This pilot is a milestone in the transition to an intelligent transportation system which will be safe, cost-efficient and sustainable. Autonomous, all-electric trucks on public roads is not a dream any more – it’s happening right now. Thanks to our partnership with Einride, and connectivity through Ericsson and Telia, we are at the forefront of this great transition.”

Mats Lundbäck, Chief Technology Officer, Telia Sweden, says: “5G is a very exciting technology that will enable new sustainable business opportunities and create customer value. Together with our partners, we are building a powerful ecosystem that is going to have a deep impact for customers and society as a whole.”

Åsa Tamsons, Head of Business Area Technologies & New Businesses, Ericsson, says: “There is a paradigm shift going on in the transport industry. 5G, with its high-data speeds and ultra-low latency, is powering a new world of autonomous vehicles that takes fleet management to the next level. Einride’s transportation solution is a perfect example of how 5G can drive cost efficiencies, improve safety, and create a sustainable future.”

The high-capacity and low-latency characteristics of 5G will be cornerstones of future transport solutions. Einride’s T-pod and autonomous transport system, powered by 5G, can potentially replace more than 60 percent of today’s transport with a cost-competitive and sustainable alternative.

5G presents an opportunity for telecom operators to tap into new revenue streams emerging from the digitalization of industries. An Ericsson report on 5G business potential shows a USD 619 billion revenue opportunity for telecom operators by 2026.

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