Autonomous driving is here to transform the lumber industry

If you thought the Tesla Semi was an impressive beast of a machine, Einride’s T-Log is sure to change your mind. Imagine a powerful electric truck… Now imagine it without a driver or even a cockpit. Einride’s T-Log, built for Sweden’s billion-dollar logging industry, features a design with practically no cockpit, as the truck comes with a platform for holding the logs, and a slim front that’s all autonomous. It even ditches the windshield for a display that is only outdone by the stunning, U-shaped headlamps below.

Einride’s autonomous driving chops come powered by Nvidia’s Drive platform, and the truck is built with a cornucopia of sensors such as radars, lidars, cameras, and intelligent routing software that helps optimize its performance, enabling it to deliver at faster times, using lesser energy and conserving battery life. The 300kWh battery sitting within the T-Log can power the truck for 120 miles on a single charge.

The T-Log isn’t completely autonomous though. It comes with a manual override that lets you remotely control the truck like a drone, using Phantom Auto’s teleoperation technology, allowing experienced drivers to maneuver the truck through sticky situations from hundreds of miles away using a low-latency cellular connection. However, the lack of a human operating the truck from within proves to be highly beneficial. It cuts down the risk of human error at the wheel, allows the truck to operate 24×7 without taking mandated sleep breaks (as humans would), while the absence of a waged driver itself helps cut down on a tonne of expenses.

With its edgy, future-forward design and the ability to transport logs without manpower, Einride’s T-Log aims at creating a cost-competitive transport solution that’s high on performance and low on risk.

Designer: Einride

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Knowing what your self-driving car will do next

The Stewart II picks up on a very good detail as to why self-driving cars are such a scary, unpredictable ordeal. It’s because of the word unpredictable. You’re much more in control of the situation when you’re commandeering the vehicle, but what when you relinquish that power to artificial intelligence? You put your confidence and life in the hands of a machine, not knowing exactly what it’s going to do next. With the Steward, all that changes.

The Stewart II (it’s in its second iteration, after having bagged a Core77 Design Award for its first stage) is a haptic human-machine interface for your self-driving car. Shaped like a mouse, mounted on a complex set of linkage rods, the Stewart can lean in directions and rotate, informing the person in the driving seat about what the car’s going to do. Placing your hand gently on the mouse-shaped form allows you to be informed of how the car plans to navigate through obstacles, without having to take your eye off the road. You can even maneuver the mouse-shaped form around, informing the car’s AI of your own intentions, allowing you to be a part of the driving process without necessarily driving. The Stewart II creates a bridge between the intentions of the human and the automobile, allowing you to ‘discuss’ the way forward while the car ultimately chooses what’s best for you, taking your inputs into consideration, and constantly keeping you in the loop. While this technically means you’re still taking partial control of the car, it also allows you to share the responsibility with the machine while staying informed at every step, so that the self-driving journey is never unpredictable to the people sitting inside.

The Stewart II is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2017.

Designer: Felix Ros

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