When Daimler decided to run an evaluation program for the next generation of heavy duty trucks from Fuso, they decided to make the new prototypes even more obvious. The camouflage style artwork chosen by Fuso is even brighter and even more instantly recognisable than Daimler are using on the evaluation the Cascadia trucks, which in turn is more obvious than that used on the Mercedes Benz three years ago. The bright reds and blues mean anyone can see this is a very different truck from a mile off.
In fact, visually the new truck doesn’t look much different to the current Fuso heavies and could be run in an evaluation program on the roads of Australia and not attract any attention as being something different. This tells us the ‘camouflage’ is not any form of disguise in this particular case, but more a component of the prelaunch marketing program for the new truck.
Electronic Systems Come With the New Fuso
The evaluation program here in Australia is not tasked with being a full shakedown of the driveline in a Fuso chassis. This configuration has been available in a similar form in Japan for a number of years.
The project is mainly looking at how the electronic safety system which are migrating across from Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner will play out in a heavy duty Fuso in Australian conditions. This integration is more problematic with the state of the roads, ambient temperatures, driving speeds etc, varying greatly from those found in other truck markets.
The testing program will calibrate the safety systems in the Fuso chassis and cabin to ensure the performance and reliability found in the other two brands is maintained for Fuso. This process will give the Fuso team on the ground here a verification these systems are effective and will work in the cities of Australia, as well as they do elsewhere in. the world.
This period of analysing of the new Fuso Heavy is testing a number of safety systems, including all of the baseline safety systems such as stability control and electronic braking system (EBS), which are included, plus a more diverse set of options.
The Shogun has active emergency braking (AEB) with which the truck uses both radar and camera to decide if there is a need to stop. If it sees an issue, it will bring braking systems into play to slow the truck before it hits any object it has detected. The system being used is the previous generation of braking system from the one used in the other Daimler trucks coming online in Australia. Unlike those, it will not bring the truck to a complete standstill.
Lane departure warning is also included and is becoming something which is pretty normal across truck offerings from most brands in Australia. Headlights now automatically turn on when the sensors in the truck realise it is in darkness, and those lights are, in fact, LED headlamps.
On this particular evaluation vehicle Fuso are also testing a driver fatigue monitoring sensor fitted to the dashboard. This may become available as an option, but further down the track.
Fuso Heavy Duty Coming Online
Fuso unveiled the new trucks, the Shogun at the Brisbane Truck Show, but actual examples of the new truck aren’t likely to be seen in the market until late this year or early 2020.
The Fuso heavy range will also be available as an 8×4 truck, at that time. This design is unlikely to be a strong competitor in the concrete or garbage field, as its tare weight is heavier than the competition. However, where it does gain traction is the fact that it can be offered as an 8×4 in a much higher power output than many of its competitors.
The process of introducing this new Shogun model is part of the strategy on the part of Daimler to bring all of their trucks presented to the market up to a similar sophistication level and running plenty of common architecture in terms of driveline, plus electronic and safety systems with common componentry included.
This heavy range renewal also sees Fuso bringing the current heavy duty truck being sold in Australia to a very similar spec to that being made and sold for the Japanese domestic market. This will have the effect of enabling Fuso, here in Australia, to update their offering as and when it is offered in the Japanese domestic market, as much of the integration work will have already been done for any changes.
This first release of an integrated Daimler product in the Fuso range can be seen as the first of many in the coming years. Fuso’s light and medium duty trucks will start to include some of the Daimler group systems, probably electronics and safety systems, at least. However, Fuso have succeeded over the years by building robust trucks for varied markets and can be expected to retain many aspects of the basic chassis and running gear, as it has with the Shogun.