Future Technology in Trucking
The trucking industry has remained rather dormant over recent years in terms of tractor and trailer design. Trucking companies are constantly seeking to improve capacity and reduce fuel consumption. The Atropos, Vayro and HST are three new concepts that may just change what we see at the truck stops in the not so distant future.
The Atropos concept is a hybrid semi-truck that holds promise of having a big impact on the industry. This diesel/electric truck is very fuel efficient with its streamline design. Its high efficiency is also achieved by using a combustion turbine engine in concert with an electric generator that charges the battery reservoir.
A steam generator uses thermal energy produced by the combustion turbine engine in the cooling system. It provides more cooling and reduces the need for excessive ventilation. It reduces engine size and body drag. The sleeper cab rotates for a better sleeping position and allows for ample storage area. The cab glass is ionized to allow tinting according to the driver’s needs. The fenders on the Atropos are designed to provide less drag while the hood is rounded, reducing air resistance. The cab covers the gap between the cab and trailer and eliminates drag between them.
The Vayro concept was designed to meet long distance freight requirements for 2020. Cabs and semi-trailers are the focus here. Higher trailer capacity equates to better productivity.
The sleek profile produces minimal air resistance. The suspension automatically lowers the drive height by four inches when driving at speeds above 55 mph. The truck’s internal combustion engine runs on hydrogen.
It features a power-split transmission that transfers power electrically through an electric generator or regular drive-line. The Vayro can deploy countermeasures such as applying brakes and prevent changing lanes to avoid accidents. The overall length of the tractor-trailer combination is 123 feet. The truck has a gross capacity of 182,000 pounds.
The HST concept addresses the long distance transportation facility needs for 2030. The truck aims to reduce expenses and increase revenue.
Fuel costs are of primary concern. The truck is designed to reduce drag with slippery body panels, an aerodynamic conical front and no protruding mirrors or wipers. The HST would be longer than today’s trucks but easier to maneuver with a steerable trailer.
The Atrpos concept is primarily concerned with improving more fuel efficient engines and driver comfort. The Vayro and HST concepts look down the road a bit farther with more efficient transmissions, driver safety and reducing expenses. Change is needed and change will come for those in the trucking industry. You won’t have to look too far down the road to see it happen.