This week, Autonomous Trucks, a 1,140hp Engine and Failed Speed Limits, plus a truckie survey, Hino awards and new investment are all in the news.
A hybrid truck rated at 1,140hp has been unveiled by two Finnish companies, Visedo and Sisu Auto. The two have teamed up to develop a hybrid electric parallel power system for the heavy truck market capable of delivering 1,140hp (850k) and more than 5,000Nm of torque.
Visedo, a Finnish manufacturer of heavy-duty hybrid and electric power, developed the electric power system for a proof of concept vehicle integrating the parallel hybrid drive, which draws power from both an electric motor and a diesel engine.
The electric motor assists the diesel engine during peak periods and charges energy storage during the off peak via supercapacitors. Locating the electric motor between the engine and gearbox ensures simple assembly with no need to alter the existing chassis or suspension structure.
Visedo developed the electric drive system to work in parallel with the Mercedes-Benz OM471 and OM473 diesel engines, which are used in the Sisu Polar truck range.
Teletrac Navman has announced the results of new research, revealing nearly half of Australian fleets believe autonomous trucks will have an undeniable presence in the transport industry in the next 10 years. The research found larger fleets are more likely to become earlier adopters of the technology. Half of larger fleets stated autonomous vehicles will play a vital role in the industry within the next 10 years.
Respondents perceived cost reduction to be the top benefit of autonomous vehicle use, as stated by 40 per cent of fleet managers and transport operators. This is followed by safety (39 per cent) and efficiency (29 per cent). While all benefits won’t be realised until the technology comes fully into play, 58 per cent of fleet managers see that autonomous vehicle technology can benefit their business. Fleets running interstate routes also identified the potential to see the biggest reduction in costs benefits offered by autonomous trucks.
Ask The Truckie
Melbourne Metro is concerned about how construction traffic will move around the Melbourne CBD, and in particular the risks of interaction between trucks and vulnerable road users. They have announced they would like to hear stories from truck drivers about their experiences regarding crashes or near misses with vulnerable users.
Speed Limits Dropped
Elsewhere in Melbourne, the 90km/h speed limits to slow trucks on the Monash Freeway are to end. According to VicRoads, traffic conditions were worse and car driver behaviour more dangerous during a trial of the limit.
Hino Top For Parts
For the sixth year in a row, Hino Australia has been recognised as one of the premier Hino distributors in the world for parts and service, winning both the 2016 Parts Department of the Year and 2016 Service Department of the Year.
“We know that minimising cost of a vehicle over its lifetime is important to our customers which is why, as part of Hino Advantage, we introduced fixed-price servicing and slashed the price of genuine Hino service and maintenance parts by an average of 24 per cent last year,” said Greg Bleasel, Hino Australia General Manager Product Support.
Queensland has initiated the $929.3 million Bruce Highway Upgrade project from Caloundra Road to the Sunshine Motorway. The project works include expanding the highway from four to six lanes, as well as renovating Caloundra Road and Sunshine Motorway.
Silicon Valley Into Trucking
Reports in the US media point to venture capitalists putting $18 million into a start-up that is helping to digitise the US trucking industry. KeepTruckin raised $18 million and joins Convoy, Transfix and, of course, Uber, who has announced a load-sharing platform