You can’t buy a Pod-the autonomous electric transport vehicle created by Swedish tech company Einride, but you have a shot a digital piece of one. Starting today a non-fungible token (NFT) of Einride founder and CEO Robert Falck’s original sketch of the Pod will be up for bid in a special auction.
The company says the Pod sketch is the first in a series of NFT’s it plans to make available over time. Starting bid is set at $2,016 on the OpenSea platform at this link.
According to an Einride release the sketch represents the first time Falck officially documented on paper his “vision for the future of freight.” Based on his technical engineering background Falck drew design inspiration from both the physical appearance and sturdiness from the American Bison and the futuristic promise of hope inspired by popular science fiction films, the company said.
As Einride dives into the crypto space it announced it plans to hire a Crypto Strategist “to effectively tap into the immense potential of continuing to innovate in a web 3.0 world. The recent adoption of blockchain technology to the logistics industry makes room for major efficiency gains to be had, showcasing endless opportunities for its capabilities to be integrated into current and future shipping strategies,” the company said.
Einride first introduced the Pod in 2016 and within three years became the first company to operate an autonomous, electric freight vehicle on a public road working with such clients as Coca-Cola, SKF, and Lidl.
The company claims since Oct. 1, 2020 its partners have seen a 90% decrease in CO2 emissions with electrical transport, while matching the cost of diesel.
The Pod can operate autonomously in closed areas such as trucking yards or by a remote operator on public roads. There’s no driver’s seat. In November Einride announced its entrance into the U.S. market with plans to first bring the original version with an enclosed cargo area and in 2022, a flatbed version, both configured to U.S. standards.
Among its initial U.S. customers are GE Appliances, Bridgestone and vegan food company Oatly.
“Between 30% and 40% of U.S. freight transport could be electrified today…and that also means they could reduce CO2 emissions as much,” Falck told Forbes.com in an interview in November.
In conjunction with its expansion into the U.S. Einride also announced the creation of the world’s first remote Pod operator position offering employment to those who don’t necessarily desire the lifestyle of commercial truck driving but are interested in either the technology or entering that industry. One remote operator can handle several Pods from a central location. Initially, Pods will operate in limited geofenced areas in the U.S. but the goal is to have them eventually travel on public roads.
The Einride Pod NFT auction will use Polygon’s MATIC crypto currency. The company says its use of what’s known as “proof-of-stake” protocol is in line with its long-standing goal of protecting the environment by reducing harmful emissions.
“Proof-of-stake is a greener alternative to the Bitcoin and Ethereum proof-of-work algorithm, which requires much more hardware to mine, making the use of MATIC 99% more energy-efficient than proof-of-work,” the company said in a statement.
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