Daimler Trucks has just announced the U.S.’ first autonomous truck, the Freightliner Inspiration. The truck has been granted a license for road use in Nevada, allowing Daimler to further test the truck’s systems and abilities to self-drive along the highway.
This isn’t Daimler’s first autonomous truck, however. 2014 Saw the automaker demonstrate the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 as it drove along the A14 autobahn near Magdeburg, Germany. It’s technology from that truck that has crossed the Atlantic – and through some rigorous recalibration for U.S. roads – and into the Freightliner Inspiration. It’s called Highway Pilot.
Daimler says the autonomous truck is designed to help ease the stress on long-haul drivers, as well as reduce traffic congestion and improve the truck’s overall fuel efficiency thanks to the computer-controlled driving. The company makes it clear the truck isn’t a replacement for drivers, saying the self-driving aspect is relegated to highway use and the driver is needed for rural and urban roads.
In fact, Daimler sees the driver’s roll actually becoming more important. During highway sprints, drivers can attend to other tasks, or even become “transport managers” – making the trucking career more attractive.
So how does the Freightliner Inspiration work? Continue reading for all the details.
Continue reading for the whole story.
Passenger cars and trucks aren’t the only road-going vehicles undergoing a fuel-saving transformation. Daimler has just announced its Freightliner SuperTruck has surpassed the Department of Energy’s criteria for the SuperTruck Challenge that began back in 2009. And surpass it did – the Freightliner SuperTruck beat the DOE goal of a 50 percent improvement, surpassing the fuel economy averages of a 2009 baseline truck by a whopping 115 percent. That translates to an average of 12.2 mpg.
While that might not seem too impressive, consider the truck and its cargo weigh 65,000 pounds and was moving an average speed of 65 mph over a 312-mile test loop on the open interstate. Oh, and it’s powered by a 10.7-liter turbodiesel that makes 390 horsepower and 1,400 pound-feet of torque. Yep, I’m impressed.
This is all part of a corporate challenged issued by the DOE back in 2009 to raise fuel economy levels of transfer trucks. The challenge set forth the goal of a 50 percent improvement in fuel economy and a 50 percent improvement in brake thermal efficiency. While two other truck makers are in the competition, neither of their entries come close to touching the Freightliner’s advancements.
Continue reading to learn more about the Daimler SuperTruck.
Mitsubishi’s medium duty truck was built with versatility in mind and is available in a wide range of version with GVMs (Gross Vehicle Masses) ranging from 10400 kg-24000 kg.
The Mitsubishi Fuso fighter has undergone a full model change in 2009 when it received a more comfortable cabin and a host of technical upgrades to make it able to compete with success against its rivals.
The truck is offered with a choice of two engines which develop 177 or 199 hp with maximum torques of 686 Nm and 785 Nm respectively. The interesting part is that recently the Fuso Fighter’s transmission lineup was completed with an Allison automatic unit which is now offered together with the manual gearboxes.
Besides its lineup of Detroit engines, Daimler has also added a new transmission designed especially for commercial vehicles.
The new over drive automated transmission was presented at 2012 Middle America trucking show, and has 12 speeds. The unit mixes a classical manual gearbox with a faster computer controlled unit which automatically selects the right gear for maximum performances and efficient fuel consumption.
Talking about the new transmission Andreas Renschler, head of Daimler Trucks, said "It’s not just the heart of the truck it’s the heart of the truck value chain. It’s worth more than 50% of the truck’s value. We are working to optimize the complete powertrain not just the separate powertrain components. We believe that’s what customers want and we believe we understand their needs better than providers of separate components."
For the start the new transmission will be available for the Freightliner Cascadia equipped with the Detroit 15 engine. The new transmission will start to be produced in 2013.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has certified Daimler Trucks North America’s 2013 lineup as being fully compliant with the new greenhouse gas 2014 (GHG14) regulations. Under the new GHG14 regulations, trucks and buses built in 2014 through 2018 are projected to reduce oil consumption by 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas emissions by 270 million metric tons.
The GHG14 is the first program designed to reduce the fuel consumption and truck emissions from the American highways and was initiated by the Department of Transportation’s Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA).
The most fuel efficient model in Daimler’s certified lineup is the Freightliner Cascadia which features a host of clean technologies that includes Blue Tec emissions technologies and the efficient DD Engines.
Another example of Daimler Truck’s powertrain optimization strategy is the Detroit DD engine line-up that utilizes Daimler Trucks’ best-in-class global processes for powertrain engineering and development. The portfolio includes the Detroit DD13®, DD15® and DD16® engines all equipped with BlueTec® emissions technology, Daimler’s global SCR technology.
Just when it seemed a brand new collaboration was on the verge of rising, talks between Aston Martin and Daimler have been slowed almost to a halt. The two brands had an interest in working with each other because it would be mutually beneficial: Aston Martin would have helped in developing Maybach models and they would, in turn, be able to take advantage of Mercedes’ latest technology. Now, German publications have reported that this agreement has collapsed and, as a result, Aston Martin’s future is in grave danger.
The first Aston Martin vehicle to feel the heat may be the DB9 supercar. This model is built on the VH platform that was developed when Aston was owned by Ford Motor Co, but since a redesign is expected for the 2014 model year, Aston Martin finds itself scrambling for a new platform; one they thought they would be able to get from Daimler. The redesigned Vantage scheduled to come out in 2015 is in the same precarious situation, leaving Aston working doubletime to re-engineer the current platform, powertrain, and sheet metal.
The highly anticipated Lagonda models aren’t any safer. This bump in the road leaves their production entirely uncertain because the SUV was going to be built on the Mercedes GL platform and the sedan was supposed to use the Mercedes S-Class platform.
Aston Martin is completely at a loss, though. They just secured a £304 million bond - about $440 million at the current rates - from global investors at a rather high 9.25% interest over the next seven years. This money will be going towards designing all new platforms for their full line of sports cars, including the DB9, Vantage, and Rapide.
Freightliner Coronado SD is a truck designed for severe-duty vocational applications, such as in the construction sector or municipalities. It combines the durability and dependability of the previous severe-duty model with the driver comfort and style synonymous with the new Coronado. The use of new materials like aluminum and fiberglass also contributes to the truck’s high efficiency and payloads.
Every truck has the choice of one of four engines. All three of Detroit Diesel’s flagship Detroit Diesel platform of engines, 400 HP DD13, 560 HP DD15 and 600 HP DD16 are available, as well as the 600 HP Cummins ISX.
The Coronado Severe Duty is made to keep on working even through some of the toughest conditions on earth. The front axles are rated from 12,000 to 22,000 lbs and rear axles with capacities of 23,000 to 70,000 lbs. When you need that extra power to get up the hill, our TufTrac rear axle suspension provides maximum traction in high articulation environments.
Freightliner Trucks - a division of Daimler Trucks unveiled the 2010 Coronado with a new design and new comfort features. At the exterior Coronado receives a smooth stainless steel grille and chrome plated hood handle and for the interior it gets a new dash board with Oregon Burl wood trim.
Coronado is offered with a choice of four engines: 400 HP DD13, 560 HP DD15, 600 HP DD16 and 600 HP Cummins ISX. "The engines are mated to a wide range of Eaton and Allison transmissions. The aerodynamic precision work, coupled with the latest in clean engine technology, enhances overall efficiency, enabling our customers to reduce fuel costs and increase bottom line profits."
"All aspects of the on-highway Freightliner Coronado are designed for continuous use and operation so that breakdowns and downtimes are kept to a minimum."
Press release after the jump.
Freightliner Trucks unveiled the new Cascadia - a revolutionary new Class 8 truck for on-highway applications. The truck is built on an entirely new platform, receives new styling, a quieter and more comfortable cab, ergonomic controls and exceptional handling.
Cascadia is offered with a choice of three engines: a 560 HP Detroit Diesel DD15, a 450 HP Detroit Diesel MBE 4000 and a 515 HP Detroit Diesel Series 60. Cascadia comes standard with a large, 1625 square inch radiator designed to cool most engine applications for both EPA 2007 and 2010 emission requirements. Or the truck can be uprated to an optional 1750 square inch radiator for engines over 500 HP.
Press release after the jump.
Daimler has unveiled the special edition Unimog based on the U 4000 truck. With a total weihgt of 8500 kilograms, the Unimog is powered by a 4249-cc four-cylinder diesel unit that produces 218 hp.
The inside of the module measures 4.35 meters long and 2.20 meters wide (standing height 1.95 meters). The roof and walls of the three-point mounted, thermal bridge-free fiberglass-reinforced plastic box are 50 mm thick, standing on a 60-mm-thick floor. All the walls are finished with a 2-mm-thick fabric-reinforced outer layer. The hatches and doors all come with hollow rubber seals and multi-point locks, which help protect the stowage compartments against the ingress of dust or water.
Behind the driver’s seat is the accommodation module washroom, fitted out with a cassette toilet, wash basin and shower. Hot water is provided by a combined Truma gas/electric boiler with a capacity of 10 liters. The corner kitchen is fitted towards the rear and comes with a two-burner gas stove, sink and drainer.
Press release after the jump.