‘Remote Pod Operator’ Would Solve One Of The Biggest Problems With Autonomous Last Mile Deliveries

A Swedish freight technology company revealed a new job title at SXSW on Monday which may help answer the interminable problem of getting packages to customers’ front door.

The last-mile of delivery is the most costly and time consuming portion of any package’s journey through global shipping. With more customers expecting free shipping, companies and logistics companies are desperate to cut down on those costs. Autonomous vehicles might be the answer to cutting costs and time, if only we could get them to think like a human when encountering problems. Einride has an autonomous pod that can mostly bumble around the streets on its own, but like all autonomous vehicle in existence today, it needs occasional help.

Enter the “Remote Pod Operator,” the first of which is trucking veteran Tiffany Heathcott. It’s the operators’ job to monitor the self-driving delivery pods and do their best to help them out of any jams or scraps they may come up against.