Einride is a Swedish freight technology company founded in 2016. They conducted their user event called Einride Mesh last week and they introduced some new products and services.
But first, let’s look at what they do. As I see it, they offer products and services to logistics and freight companies to run their business and taking a SW first approach.
- Pod: Arguably the most visible part of Einride’s products so far are it’s pods. A cabless truck concept. They are autonomous to a 1 AET 4 SAE level. This level of autonomy allows them to drive in closed and controlled environments. They have a flatbed variant that is compatible with standard shipping containers.
- Remote driving: They are huge proponents for remote truck operation. They can monitor and control pods remotely. Intervene when necessary. And provide better working experience for the drivers(read as pod operators).
- Trailer: A new addition. The trailer can be attached to their pods or existing trucks. The key differentiator is the level of intelligence built into the trailer. And provides additional battery capacity to the vehicle. All tied into their SW ecosystem of course.
- Saga: Saga is their SW fleet management platform that businesses can use to monitor and manipulate their complete fleet. They can use AI and data-driven tools to optimally orchestrate their operations.
If I were to boil it down to one picture, this is how I would draw it out.
In this picture its clear that they are positioning themselves as an end-to-end solution for freight transport over land. With the combination of these products(pods, trailer, truck), their SW platform saga, and the surrounding infrastructure of roads, charging stations etc., they can ensure a good is transported from point A to B. They describe this in the Einride Mesh event as a Capacity-as-a-service business model.
One aspect in which they have considerable advantage over existing OEMs is that they are starting out small. And this enables them to achieve a so-called full stack connectivity right from the beginning. As opposed to big OEMs and their customers who is trying to integrate them into their existing architectures and processes. This also encourages Einride to shape their business model around this kind of operation. Even in this matter, OEMs are lagging. For 2 reasons. 1, they have an existing business model that brings in revenue and profits to shareholders, who scrutinize them every quarter. 2, these companies are like aircraft carriers at this point. They take a while to change course.
I don’t believe this space will be a winner takes all market. Which then begs the question of how useful is an Einride solution if it only works with other Einride solutions. Would this then mean that a freight provider or a carrier would have to completely switch an Einride fleet in order to use it’s services for the full fleet? This looks like a page right from the Apple playbook. Closed ecosystem, end-to-end controlled experiences, offered at a premium. Or will they go for a more open approach. Interoperable standards in the industry that any player can be a part of. More like Android.