It’s a bird, a plane, no, it’s a Super Truck, but no, it’s a rocket, or at least a UFO! Actually, “it” is a WAVE. Have you heard about the WAVE? President Obama has been speaking recently about the need for advanced, more aerodynamic, more economical truck designs. Walmart has been listening. They have developed their own version of his Super Truck, a concept design with smoothly swept back lines and sliding cab doors. There are no right angles in sight! Today, USA CDL takes a look at this dynamic truck design.
1. The WAVE was created with partners Peterbilt, Great Dane Trailers and Capstone Turbine. Although it has been put into formal testing at present, you might never see this sci-fi styled truck on the road. What you will probably see are the features that have been incorporated into this futuristically designed truck.
2. You might see or at least hear about the micro turbine power train, the advanced control systems, and the lightweight trailer.
3. About that engine: The WAVE’s turbine engine, “can run on petroleum-derived diesel, biodiesel, and natural gas. Walmart says the engine could potentially burn other fuels in the future.” It is paired with a basic electric motor and traditional battery storage system.
4. The front of the vehicle looks a little like the front of a bullet train or the front of an ICBM missile. As mentioned above, the driver accesses the cab through doors that slide back, which is reminiscent of both Star Trek and a modern minivan. The driver is seated at the center of the cab front, instead of left or right, like a pilot in the nose cone of a small rocket.
5. The console is a celebration of minimalism, because of the two customizable dashboard computer screen, one to the driver’s left and one to his right. Both of these are completely customizable, according to the needs of the driver and the truck. The sleeper, a full-sized cabin, is very typically located behind the driver’s cock-pit styled seat.
6. The trailers of the future might greatly resemble the WAVE. The 53-foot carbon fiber panels, created for it were the largest ones ever manufactured. “The front of the trailer is rounded, which improves aerodynamics and adds cargo space.”
The WAVE is not Walmart’s first prototype by any means. During the last two decades, they have developed “full-propulsion hybrid, hybrid assist, wheel-end hybrid assist, natural gas, and waste grease fuel technologies.”
In case you haven’t seen them, Walmart trucks log millions of miles each year. The company is on a mission to double fleet efficiency by 2015. In comparison to 2005 statistics, they stated that they have already accomplished 80 per cent of that goal.
At USA CDL, we also have to give an appreciative blast on the air horn to Volvo Trucks’ Collision Warning With Emergency Brake. This is simply a heavier-duty version of Volvo Cars’ City Safety system, and of several other safety systems being engineered into some new car makes and models.
Volvo Trucks’ Collision Warning System with Emergency Brake, utilizes radar and a forward-facing camera to focus on the road ahead.
“If something – slow or stopped traffic, for instance — is detected ahead of the vehicle, a warning in the head-up display illuminates. If the truck continues forward, that display flashes and chirps at the driver. If the truck still continues forward, it applies partial brake pressure to slow the vehicle. If the driver still refrains from intervening, the truck can then apply full brake pressure to bring the truck to a complete halt. Volvo says it can avoid colliding with moving traffic at speeds up to 44 mph.”
USA CDL Driving thanks you for reading our blog. If driving rigs like the ones explained above excites you, please click on this special page. Also, we invite you to continue to visit our blog for more upcoming stories behind new truck designs, next week for Part II of this series on Trucks of the Future.
So this week, we give our Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Roses Blog Award to all the designers and engineers that are changing the face of American Transportation. As usual this is not a trophy, but only quiet recognition of valuable contributions to the future.