Freightliner revealed a new truck concept at Mid-America Trucking Show in Kentucky. The new Revolution concept wants to gives us a glimpse of how it will look the future of big rigs in Freightliner’s vision. The truck features a host of innovative technologies and upgrades which make it very aerodynamic, lightweight, easy to maneuver and efficient.
Talking about the new concept, Michael Gatza Senior Engineer, Advanced Engineering at Freightliner trucks said: “We reconfigured key powertrain components, incorporated new technologies, and integrated a raised roof to reach a new level of innovation.”
The Freightliner Revolution concept is powered by a Detroit DD13 engine mated on a lightweight manual automated transmission.
The Freightliner Revolution design is breathtaking. The truck features a futuristic approach with a clean design that gives it a sense of unity. What will immediately strike you is the lack of the typical huge radiator grille which is usually find at the front of any big rig.
After seeing this futuristic shape for the first time, you need only one second to realize that Freightliner’s engineers spent a lot of time for developing this aerodynamic design which offers a low drag coefficient and reduces friction.
Freightliner collaborated with Toray Carbon Fibers America to build the Revolution Innovation Truck concept vehicle with special carbon fibers for exterior components. Toray supplied carbon fiber pre-preg material that was used in the construction of the Revolution’s hood, roof cap, side walls and back wall, marking the first time this material has been used in heavy-duty truck construction.
A special sandwich structure of low density honeycomb material and carbon fiber resulted in extremely lightweight components, which also simplified the truck’s inner support structure and maximized interior space. Thanks to the heavy use of lightweight materials the cabin is 200 pounds lighter than a conventional one made of steel. To lower the drag coefficient, the concept is also equipped with a wrap round windshield and an aerodynamic “aeroraised roof”.
The modern design of the Revolution Concept is also enhanced by the futuristic LED headlamps which replace the conventional light clusters with a better and more efficient technology borrowed from the advanced passenger cars. The LED lights use less power and have a longer life, making them a viable and attractive future technology for low- and high-beam forward lighting. Moreover, tinted reflectors are integrated into the front grille, making the lights "disappear" when they are turned off. The turn signal indicators are made of orange LEDs which create a strikingly, highly visible turn signal in a unique shape above the headlamps.
When the Freightliner Revolution concept was designed, the engineers wanted to maximize the interior comfort and at the same time raising its practicability. After a few researches the designers learned that most of the time, in the truck sits only one person, hence they ditched the passenger door in favor of a better utilization of the interior space.
The cabin is fitted with an ingenious seat concept which transforms into a bunk for rest and relaxation when needed. Talking about the interior features Andy Olson, Senior Engineer, Cab Engineering said: “We’ve provided everything the driver needs to do their job well: clear instrumentation, comfortable ergonomics, and flexibility with the convertible bunk.”
Another catchy feature is the futuristic LED instrument cluster which offers important information about the vehicle, while also reducing driver distraction. “Light rings" surround the large speedometer and tachometer, while the LCD screen automatically reverts to a rear camera when the truck transmission is put into reverse, helping drivers line up their 5th wheel and kingpin.
The steering wheel had also received special attention and is fitted with buttons for controlling the instrument cluster, cruise control, and radio. Moreover, an ergonomic shifting stalk can be found on the steering column and controls the new Detroit automated manual transmission.
The right side of the dash contains a unique docking station for a smart tablet. The dock provides power to the tablet, and connects the tablet’s audio to the truck’s speakers. Data from the truck is streamed to the tablet via Wi-Fi, using the TruckOS operating system designed especially for a trucker needs.
The storage spaces are a very important department for any trucker, hence the Revolution concept is also fitted with a bunch of cup holders, cubby holes and practical boxes ready to serve the driver’s needs. Dash storage pockets are placed within easy reach while the raised roof provides additional storage space on the rear wall, where a pull-down drawer can be easily loaded from the standing position, eliminating any need to climb. There is also available an insulated drawer under the convertible jumpseat.
The cabin’s relaxing ambiance is enhanced by the iLED-illuminated cup holders. A subdued LED light strip also illuminates the interior of the door, while sleek LED lighting in the rear of the cab provides light to read and a halo of indirect lighting circles the roof cap.
Engines and technology
AT the heart of the Freightliner Revolution sits the Detroit DD13 engine which was optimized for local and regional LTL applications. The engine scores best-in-class fuel economy, up to 50,000 mile service intervals and is equipped with the BlueTec Emissions Technology.
For more efficient chassis packaging, the fuel tanks are made of lightweight plastic materials to increase payload and features a fuel capacity of around 75 gallons.
The engine is mated on a lightweight Detroit DTD 2100 automated manual transmission which features aluminum housing and a wide range of time and fuel-saving technologies.
The truck is also fitted with a new long haul tandem rear axle which delivers the fuel economy of a 6x2 with the stability of a 6x4. By de-clutching the rear axle from the driveline at highway speeds, it acts as a tag axle, reducing friction and saving fuel. If a loss of traction is sensed, it automatically re-engages the rear axle to a standard 6x4 drive configuration.
Video: Freightliner Revolution Concept – Rear Doors
Video: Freightliner Revolution Concept