An International Trucks Deal, Autonomous Trucks, Low Fuel Volvo and a New UD

The headlines this week include An International Trucks Deal, Autonomous Trucks, Low Fuel Volvo and a New UD, plus a top Isuzu dealer award, in Diesel News.

Volvo Trucks’ new concept is claimed to drastically boost productivity in long-haul operations. The Swedish truck maker reckon it cuts fuel consumption by more than 30 per cent. There is said to be a 40 per cent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency on the prime mover and trailer.

“We’ve modified the entire rig and optimised it for improved aerodynamics as much as possible,” said Åke Othzen, Chief Project Manager at Volvo Trucks. “For instance, we use cameras instead of rear-view mirrors. This cuts air resistance, so less energy is needed to propel the truck.”

The concept vehicle is also fitted with newly developed tyres with lower rolling resistance. The trailer weighs two tonnes less than the reference trailer, which translates into either lower fuel consumption or the possibility of higher payload.

Navistar International has announced the result of its strategic alliance with Volkswagen, which includes an equity investment in Navistar by Volkswagen and framework agreements for a procurement joint venture and strategic technology and supply collaboration.

Volkswagen has acquired approximately 16.2 million newly issued shares in Navistar, representing 16.6 per cent of the stock. As a result, Navistar receives $340 million to be used for general corporate purposes.

“This alliance with Volkswagen Truck & Bus marks a significant milestone in our company’s history, and we expect it will create multiple benefits for both companies in both the near and long term,” said Troy Clarke, Chairman, President and CEO, Navistar. “Now that the transaction has closed, we will move quickly to collaborate with an industry-leading, strategic partner to increase our global scale, strengthen our competitiveness.”

A company called Embark is testing an autonomous truck on the roads of Nevada in the US. It uses a combination of radars, cameras and LiDARs to see where it is. The system then uses Deep Neural Nets to work out what it doing and control the truck.

The system is claimed to be able to see through glare, fog and darkness on its own, and is said to have bee programmed with a set of rules to help safely navigate ‘most’ situations.

The Isuzu Trucks National Dealer of the Year crown for 2016 was announced in Sydney at the 2017 Isuzu national dealer meeting. The award was presented to Ballarat Isuzu and Dealer Principal Ian Deacon.

Isuzu said this locally-owned dealership has consistently demonstrated excellence in selling and servicing new and used vehicles to the Ballarat region for more than 25 years. Deacon said there was no secret to Ballarat Isuzu’s success, “just a lot of hard work.”

In Japan, UD Trucks launched Croner, an all-new medium duty truck, specifically for its growth markets across Asia, Africa, Middle-East and South America.

“UD Trucks believes that more time spent on the road and less time in the workshop adds up to the success of our customers’ business,” said Jacques Michel, President, Volvo Group Trucks Asia & JVs Sales. “It is our aim for Croner to make every moment count, through maximising productivity and minimising downtime on every run our customers make.”

The truck is a 4×2 with a GVM of 10.4 or 11 tonnes, using the five litre GH5E engine, putting out 180 hp (136 kW), 210 hp (157 kW) or 240 hp (179 kW) and 750 Nm, 825 Nm or 900 Nm of torque. It comes with either an automated or manual six speed transmission and will be rated at either Euro 3 or Euro 4, depending upon which market it is in.