The Einride Pod rounds the Top Gear track, but is it faster than a Prius?
The Einride Pod, an autonomous and fully electric vehicle designed in Sweden, recently had the chance to prove its skills on the famous Top Gear track in England. Just how fast was it though?
The Einride Pod is actually the first ever autonomous electric heavy transport vehicle to complete a lap of the Top Gear track at Dunsfold Aerodrome.
It reached 80km/h under 24 seconds on straights and took the turns nicely and safely, which is impressive in its own right.
However, its lap time of 2 minutes and 44 seconds makes it one of the slowest ever in Top Gear history. By comparison, the 2012 Toyota Prius, which was often mocked on the show by former host Jeremy Clarkson, clocked a lap time of 1 minute 41.8 seconds. The only vehicles to record slower lap times than the Einride Pod have been tractors or cars bogged down by some of the amusing mods added by Top Gear hosts.
Naturally, the Einride Pod won’t be hitting the Nürburgring Nordschleife anytime soon then. Even so, this evidently wasn’t the point of the test. The video acts a sound marketing exercise for Einride, and an ideal way to show of its futuristic vehicle to potential clients.
What is the Einride Pod?
The Pod is an electric truck that can drive itself autonomously or be remotely controlled in a similar fashion to a drone.
Einride boast that the autonomous delivery vehicle allows for sustainable, cost-competitive shipping thanks to its Autonomous Electric Transport (AET) technology, which is coordinated by their intelligent freight mobility platform.
The models available to order now are categorized as AET 1 (Fenced) and AET 2 (Nearby). AET 1 is intended to be used in closed facilities with predetermined routes best suited for fully-autonomous operation. The AET2 vehicles can be used in the same way as their AET1 counterparts, but also have the ability to travel on public roads over short distances between destinations.
How much does it all cost then? Well, companies interested in ordering the Pods can do so for an initial cost of $1,500 plus an additional $8,500 to be invoiced following the reservation. On top of the $10,000 reservation fee, businesses will also have to fork out for an operational fee of around $18,000 per month for AET 1 and $19,000 per month for AET 2.