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Preparing for Autonomous Electric Truck Operations: How a More Sustainable Future Can Become Reality

Road transport in Europe has grown substantially between 1990 and 2016. Despite efficiency improvements of conventional powertrains, the corresponding CO2 emissions have increased by about 22% in the same period.

Time: Tue 2019-10-29 08.20 - 09.30

Location: ITRL, Drottning Kristinas Väg 40 Stockholm, Sweden

Participating: Benjamin Kickhöfer, Einride

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Road transport is therefore a major reason for missing the EU 2020 emission reduction target. Additionally, vehicle automation is expected to reduce operational costs in logistics since it brings down labor costs. As lower costs typically lead to increased demand, there is a strong need for rolling out systems fuelled by sustainable energy which make financial sense for companies. Einride is at the forefront of designing such Autonomous Electric Transport (AET) systems.

In this talk, Benjamin will present recent efforts within Einride to craft the operating system for AET operations which we see on a parallel track to the necessary transition towards renewable energy sources. He will show how we use insights into customer data in order to prepare for an incremental roll-out of an AET system at scale, always ensuring to evolve planning solutions around available hardware and customer needs. The system differs substantially from traditional human-driven diesel fleets because of three reasons: First, there are additional constraints that apply due to the necessity of charging which also might impose challenges to the electricity grid. Second, there are opportunities related to charging without labor costs and to the optimization of assets and energy usage in a synchronized logistics network. And third, autonomous drive capabilities will improve over time, meaning that the use-cases where to apply autonomous driving technology needs to be revised continuously. All these motivations point to the need for predictable and yet fluid regulatory frameworks, which he will also touch on during the talk.

About Benjamin:

Benjamin Kickhöfer  is Product & Tech Lead at Einride , where he is responsible for the simulation and optimization of electric and self-driving freight vehicle fleets. Previously, he has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and at Technische Universität Berlin, where he co-developed the multi-agent transport simulation MATSim . He holds a Diploma in Industrial Engineering and Management as well as a PhD in Simulation and Optimization of Transport Networks.

In his research, Benjamin has focused on the simulation-based optimization of transport networks, in particular considering air pollution and other negative effects of traffic, as well as on modeling car ownership decisions in the context of the electrification and automation of vehicles. Since 2010 he has (co-)authored more than 40 scientific articles . Benjamin has also been involved in transport research and consulting projects in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, China, Russia and Chile.

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