SuperTruck, Navistar and Autonomous Trucks are in the news round-up this week.
In the US, Volvo unveiled the company’s SuperTruck, designed to show off all of the latest advanced aerodynamics, vehicle and powertrain technologies to achieve a fuel efficiency improvement. The SuperTruck managed to improve freight efficiency by of 88 per cent, exceeding the 50 per cent improvement goal set by the U.S. Department of Energy when it handed out grants to the US truck manufacturers to develop the SuperTruck program.
With solar panels on the cab roof powering its battery and interior lights, and an ultra-light aluminium frame alongside a 425 hp 11 litre engine, the SuperTruck concept vehicle saw Volvo engineers to push the boundaries of heavy truck efficiency. The aerodynamic design combination boosted fuel efficiency by 70 per cent , exceeding 5 km/l consistently in testing, with some test runs reaching 5.5 km/l. Powertrain brake thermal efficiency reached 50 per cent.
Following the announcement of the deal seeing Volkswagen trucks taking a stake in Navistar International, the company announced third quarter revenues having dropped by 18 per cent, year-on-year.
The company lost US$34 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales of uS$2.09 billion for the three months ended July 31. A year ago the company lost $30 million, or 34 cents, on sales of $2.54 billion.
“This quarter’s results show that we continue to make progress in the face of tougher market conditions, particularly in the heavy segment,” said Navistar CEO, Troy Clarke.
“As we pursue our goal of market share growth, we do see some encouraging signs in the area of order share, where year-to-date share of new orders continues to be up for the past three quarters.”
Meanwhile, in Singapore, French firm Gaussin Manugistique is on the short list with the Singapore government to design, manufacture and test robotic, driverless heavy goods vehicles intended for transporting containers and goods in towns and on public roads in a convoy.
The French firm is already working with Singapore Terminals to supply its electricity powered automated guided vehicles with lithium titanate batteries as part of the automation of the port of Singapore.
The new platooning technology is aimed to allow a number of trucks to travel in convoy with a driver in the first truck, to be followed by a number of driverless vehicles.