We’re designing and testing the trucks of the future today. As we experiment with the next generation of industry-defining technologies, we’re able to put them to the test to see how they perform in real-world situations.
Finding Solutions for a Better Tomorrow
Our trucks set new standards for fuel economy, payload capacity, and operational efficiency. We’re listening to our customer council, anticipating more emissions regulation changes and leveraging the global network of Daimler, by using its Advanced Engineering group, to find solutions for the problems of tomorrow.
Creating Real-World Prototypes
The Advanced Engineering group has developed three generations of innovative concept trucks over the past few years: Cascadia® Innovation Truck, Revolution Innovation Truck and most recently, the Freightliner SuperTruck. Each helped us push our engineers to design and build concept vehicles that show where the future of efficient, comfortable, safe driving is headed.
The Freightliner SuperTruck: The future of trucking today
In 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy challenged DTNA to push the envelope on experimental high-risk, high-reward technologies to develop and demonstrate a highly efficient “SuperTruck” that's at least 50% more freight efficient with an engine that shows at least 50% brake thermal efficiency.
The Advanced Engineering group at Freightliner Trucks led the charge on this five-year, $80 million development plan to design, build, and test a running concept vehicle. The result: the Freightliner SuperTruck, a showcase of innovation and efficiency. It's also a prime example of what is possible when experts across Daimler, universities and national labs unite in the pursuit of peak performance.
This supercharged effort investigated new advances in efficiency goals such as aerodynamics, engine, powertrain integration, parasitic losses, hybrid, lightweighting, energy management and waste heat recovery.
The Freightliner SuperTruck met and exceeded the goals of the challenge, resulting in 115% freight efficiency and 50.2% brake thermal efficiency. Additionally, the vehicle achieved 12.2 miles per gallon. Many trucks on the road today average half that.
Learn more about the most freight-efficient concept truck on the planet at www.freightlinersupertruck.com.
This concept truck, which appeared at MATS 2012, features a revolutionary crossover cab with cutting edge ergonomics and an ingenious convertible driver’s jumpseat that transforms into a sleep space in seconds. It also features the Truck Operating System (TruckOS), a new concept in commercial vehicle operation that combines the intelligence of an on-board truck network with the portability and internet connectivity of a mass-market tablet device. This new concept truck uses many new lightweight materials and other design features to maximize aerodynamics while remaining incredible safe and comfortable to drive. We call it the Revolution Innovation Truck.
Learn more about it on the Revolution truck site.
Cascadia Innovation Truck
Our Cascadia Innovation Truck was developed to highlight not only existing technologies, but to reveal a look into what customers can expect in the near future. The truck featured the most advanced technologies directly from our development labs:
- Advanced aerodynamics developed through extensive testing in our wind tunnel;
- Run Smart Predictive Cruise™ system combining the latest GPS technology with digital mapping for 3D profiles of the road ahead and significant fuel savings;
- Dual Ride Height system to reduce cost/fuel use per mile by lowering the tractor height at highway speeds reducing under-chassis drag;
- An advanced power system which included a fuel cell auxiliary power unit that runs off of diesel, and an ultra-capacitor starting solution;
- EPA 2010-compliant DD15 engine with Detroit’s proven BlueTec® Emissions Technology
- ParkSmart™ HVAC system integrating emission-free cooling and highly efficient heating, without engine idling.
We’re currently engineering the next generation of Innovation Truck. Pushing the boundaries of engineering and technology is all part of our ongoing effort to shape future transportation. We’re finding collaborators to help us proof our concepts, too.
Recently, we collaborated with Walmart to build the first-ever hybrid-electric Freightliner Cascadia®. This truck marked the beginning of a long-term strategic partnership between Daimler Trucks North America and Walmart to develop innovative, green technologies.
Walmart’s spec’d truck, a 72-inch raised-roof Detroit DD15®—equipped Cascadia, features a parallel-hybrid system based on an electrically driven second-drive axle. The system uses advanced lithium-ion—based energy storage and advanced electronic control algorithms that were developed in collaboration with the Daimler Trucks Global Hybrid Center in Japan.
With this advanced hybrid technology, the conventional drivetrain remains completely intact, allowing for high system reliability from the very beginning. In addition, initial assessments of fuel efficiency further indicate the potential of this technology.
Beginning with our advanced wind-tunnel testing facility, we have long been dedicated to developing the industry’s most efficient and environmentally friendly technologies. This new Cascadia marks the next evolution in hybrid-electric solutions for heavy-duty vehicles. Our customers look to us for advanced solutions in every application, and we continue to deliver at every turn.
Walmart wanted to develop technologies that would improve the efficiency and lessen the environmental impact of their operations. With these partnerships, we can create proofs of concept for these technologies and speed up their time to market.
This new advanced engineering partnership with Walmart highlights our commitment to green technologies as well as our desire to work closely with core customers to continue developing alternative fuel vehicles.