This is a video about what’s next for Cummins, put out as part of the engine makers presentations at the IAA truck show in Hannover last week. It gives us an idea of the way they are thinking and where they see engine development going into the next decade.
The X12 global platform forms a large part of the future plans for Cummins. This will include a more integrated driveline including the next generation of the Eaton AMT with the ADEPT technology reckoned to improve fuel efficiency by up to six per cent. Features such as Predictive Cruise Control will utilise the vehicle GPS to see the road 2 km ahead and precisely adjust speed ready for the upcoming terrain. SmartCoast places the driveline into neutral on downhill gradients using vehicle momentum to save fuel, while SmartTorque2 constantly calculates the exact torque needed for the truck payload to minimise downshifting.
The video looks at what will be needed to meet Euro 7 emission regulations, when they come along. There will be a smart connected suite of wireless monitoring, reporting, calibrating and servicing applications to help boost vehicle uptime. New digital technology is being developed with over-the-air trim and parameter calibration, enabling fleet managers to customise power and speed settings to match business needs and driver behaviours, road conditions and geographic coordinates. Advanced thermal efficiencies implies Cummins have cracked the nut to find a viable system to recover heat energy created in the combustion process and use it to boost power.
The concept emissions control system now under development by Cummins, combines the turbocharged air management with the exhaust aftertreatment as a single close-coupled system, together with a new rotary turbine control (RTC). This new design utilises advances in air and thermal management to immediately convert almost all NOx emissions to clean gas as it interacts with the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) unit.
One universal engine able to be adapted to use any of the available fuels the trucking industry wants to utilise looks like a winner for Cummins. Not only does this mean the company only needs to develop one basic engine design for a particular displacement, but can adapt them to any fuel source. This also future proofs the company from spending large amounts to develop an engine to use a fuel which doesn’t gain popularity. There’s also an extra clean nine litre engine burning natural gas on the agenda, capable of being carbon neutral.
Then we come to the electric power options. Cummins have to have some skin in the electric game as diesel engines get replaced by electric motors over the next few years. Smaller vehicles are going electric now, but we can be sure the technology will expand into heavier trucks over time. Liquid cooling, modular design and improved power management are part of the development planned. There’s also hybridisation in the Cummins options for the future.
What about the X15? It doesn’t get a mention, but the trucking community of Australia can be sure it will be a long, long time before anyone can come up with an alternative to a high displacement diesel engine to haul multiple trailers large distances in Australia.
Perhaps Cummins know something which we don’t know. They show Australia with the adoption of ADR 80/04 coming in 2022,. The federal government better get a move on to meet this deadline, it’s looking like 2025 at the moment.