Following an announcement at the Solutrans event in Lyons in France we now know that the mirrorless Mercedes is truck of the year. At the event the Mercedes-Benz’s new Actros has been elected International Truck of the Year 2020 by a jury of 24 commercial vehicle editors and senior journalists, representing 24 major trucking magazines from throughout Europe.
The prestigious award was handed over to Prof. Uwe Baake, Head of Product Engineering Mercedes-Benz Trucks, during the press day of Solutrans, the biennial International Show for Road & Urban Transport Solutions in Lyon, France.
With a winning score of 121 votes, the German flagship fought off the strong challenge posed by Iveco’s recently launched S-Way long-haul range and Volvo Trucks’ fuel-efficient FH I-Save.
Based on the International Truck of the Year (IToY) rules, the annual award is presented to the truck introduced into the market in the previous 12 months which has made the greatest contribution to road transport efficiency. Several important criteria are considered, including technological innovation, comfort, safety, driveability, fuel economy, environmental footprint and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
According to the IToY jury, Mercedes-Benz has built upon the technical strengths of its current range to deliver a new truck that introduces substantial improvements in crucial areas, such as partial automated driving, expanded cruise and transmission control systems, digital human-machine interface and several state-of-the art safety systems.
Among the latter, the jury praised the introduction of the MirrorCam system, which replaces the traditional exterior rear-view mirrors and effectively supports the driver in manoeuvring, cornering or changing lanes. Moreover, the new solution not only improves all-around visibility but also aerodynamic efficiency.
During a recent extended test drive in southern Spain, the Truck of the Year jury members appreciated the new Active Drive Assist system which, in certain operational conditions, can take over the longitudinal and lateral guidance of the truck, thereby allowing partially automated driving in all speed ranges.
Finally, the IToY journalists praised the extended functions of the new Actros’ Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) system and the totally digital Multimedia Cockpit, which replaces the conventional instrument cluster. PPC, in particular, can now also be used on winding cross-country routes, saving fuel and reducing driver’s workload.
“With the introduction of the new Actros, Mercedes-Benz has delivered a state-of the-art heavyduty
truck that paves the way towards autonomous driving vehicles of the future,” said Gianenrico Griffini, International Truck of the Year Chairman, summing-up the jury vote.
Innovation from Hyundai
Also awarded by the ITOY judges is the the second-ever International Truck of the Year (IToY) Truck Innovation Award. This award goes to Hyundai for its Hydrogen Mobility solution, based on its H2 XCient fuel-cell all-electric heavy-duty truck which promotes the introduction of a ‘green’ hydrogen-fuel road transport ecosystem in Switzerland, and other European countries in the future.
The latest award acknowledges the enormous technological changes and the energy transition that are evidenced within the field of commercial vehicles during the past few years. The Truck Innovation Award 2020 was handed over to Rolf Huber, Chairman of Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility, and to Jihan Ryu, Vice President of Commercial Vehicle Electronics Control Engineering Group of Hyundai Motor Company, during the press day of Solutrans.
With a winning score of 80 votes, Hyundai’s fuel cell truck-based mobility solution fought off competition from the Nikola Hydrogen truck range, Freightliner’s eCascadia, Volvo Trucks’ Vera and Scania’s AXL autonomous driving vehicles and Renault Trucks’ Optifuel Lab 3.
The International Truck of the Year jury praised the comprehensive approach to clean mobility in the commercial vehicle sector, based on the partnership of several key players in supplying eco-friendly heavy-duty trucks.
The partnership includes vehicle-provider Hyundai Motor Company together with H2 Energy, Linde and Alpiq for green energy solutions for hydrogen production and distribution, together with logistics and retail and trade partners in Switzerland.
The Hyundai H2 XCient Fuel Cell truck (FECV) that has been developed according to European regulations features a new 190 kW hydrogen fuel cell system with two 95 kW fuel cell stacks connected in parallel. It has an operational range of around 400km, thanks to seven fuel-tanks, each with a storage capacity of almost 35 kg of hydrogen at a pressure of 350 bar.
According to IToY rules a Truck Innovation Award nominee must be an advanced-technology vehicle with a gross vehicle weight over 3.5-tonnes either fitted with an alternative driveline (e.g. hybrid, hybrid range-extender, or all-electric) or have an alternative fuel-system (such as LNG/CNG/ hydrogen/or fuel-cells). Otherwise, it must feature specific high-tech solutions with regard to connectivity (whether semi or fully-autonomous driving systems) a ‘platooning’ capability, or advanced support services such as remote diagnostics.