Daihatsu FC Deco Deck Concept
In 2013 Daihatsu unveiled its FC Deco Deck Concept. This is a futuristic kei-class mini-truck. Minimal size and zero-emission levels are key features. It will be one of the greenest vehicles on the planet if it ever comes to the market - which is very unlikely to happen. The concept offers low-cost fuel system installed under the floor. This way you get more free space on the platform. The fuel system consists of a small-sized metal-free liquid cell (utilizing the innovative combination of hydrogen and nitrogen as fuel) and a compact self-contained generator.
Renault Radiance Concept Truck
This concept Renault truck was introduced in 2004. We include it in our top-ten as for that moment it really was brilliant concept, fully justifying its name (radiance - shining, brightness, blaze). Renault Design Team did their best and their creation was radiant with innovations. Some ideas implemented were quite questionable to come to production model at those years (like a foldaway entrance step, automatic parking brake) - but it was a concept after all!
Nevertheless the Renault Radiance had its unique striking features, which deserved public attention. Some of its advanced technologies in relation to the beginning of the 21st century are widely used in the present-day cars (e.g. a simple smart card to start the vehicle). And some of them have made an important contribution to the development of the automotive industry and continue to grow up in popularity year by year (e.g. a 'steer-by-wire' technology; a retractable gear shifter; variable intensity of the rear lights, that gets progressively brighter when braking gets harder).
Isuzu T-Next Concept
Isuzu Company decided not to lag behind other automakers and developed its own concept of a future truck in 2011.
The key feature of the T-Next concept is aerodynamics. It was designed to comply with all possible aerodynamic requirements (they even replaced rear-view mirrors with small cameras and integrated a spoiler into the roof). As a result you get significant reduction of fuel costs. The creators claim that the model can boast of the latest safety systems. This concept truck stands out from the crowd with a central driving position (there is also a possibility to push the steering wheel forward into the dash). This layout allows a diver to read the information displayed on the multi-functional dashboard while on the road and to have extra space while having a rest.
Iveco Glider Concept
A laboratory on wheels with "hotel" functions – this is the shortest description of the concept truck Iveco Glider, revealed in 2010. The core of the concept is advanced energy management. Iveco Team was inspired by the creature of nature – the eagle, and borrowed its unique features (high-performance and economy of energy used) for their truck. The Glider has photo-electric cells installed on the roof to receive extra energy. Besides, it features a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), which transforms a part of braking kinetic energy into electricity. Also there is a device transforming heat from exhaust into electricity. All together all these advanced devices allow to shave 15% off fuel consumption. Additionally, this concept has no belts in engine, everything is done by electric motors, advanced engine cooling system and low rolling resistance tyres.
Besides, the cab can be easily reconfigured into following layouts: Drive, Office, Home. Way to go Iveco, we can't wait for Glide on the roads!
Mitsubishi Fuso Canter Eco-D
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) has won a reputation of an innovative manufacturer. It was created in 2003 and only in 3 years it presented the first hybrid light truck and one year later, in 2007, it went further and unveiled "Canter Eco-D" hybrid concept dump.
It utilizes a parallel hybrid system which is well-known today for its substantial benefits for the natural environment. The power to drive the vehicle comes from the vehicle's diesel engine, the electric motor or both according to driving conditions such as starting off, cruising, braking, etc. In the latter case brake energy is converted into electric energy and is stored in the Li-ion battery.
A unique feature of the Canter Eco-D is that the electric motor (not the diesel engine) powers the dump body operation. This approach significantly reduces emissions and noise.
Freightliner Revolution Innovation Concept Truck
This revolution from Freightliner took place in 2012. Its main concept is to balance efficiency and reliability with driver comfort and safety. The creators stated that they counted every drop of fuel, by decreasing drag, friction and weight. For these purposes they produced a remarkable cold-rolled aluminum frame (that is lighter than its still equivalent) and an intelligent rear axle (that can switch between four and six-wheel drive automatically).
As most of the time there’s only a driver in the cab, the Freightliner designers changed the passenger door into a baggage side door. For driver's convenience, they developed a rear door to have the possibility of checking the trailer connections from the cab. And for the sake of aerodynamics, all the doors have no handles and can be activated remotely.
One more striking innovative feature from Freightliner is a concept iPad-based operation system – TruckOS, which allows drivers to perform their daily tasks (finding the nearest fuel station, scheduling their next load, etc.)
MAN Concept S / Krone AeroLiner
The MAN Concept S tractor unit was shown to public in 2010. And its combination with the Krone AeroLiner semi-trailer made its debut in 2012. The Krone engineers managed to achieve an extremely low drag coefficient (0.3), which is unattainable even for many passenger cars. The example of optimal streamline shape was set by the short-finned pilot whale. Krone and MAN have embraced this design to achieve perfect aerodynamics. As a result, this concept vehicle consumes up to 25 % less fuel and thus reduces CO2 emissions.
Freightliner SuperTruck Concept
This SuperTruck was challenged by the US Department of Energy in 2009. The task was to make it at least 50% more freight efficient. As a result of a 5-year collaboration between Freightliner, Detroit Engines, Mercedes-Benz and Fuso (Daimler-owned companies), the challenge was exceeded. The SuperTruck Concept achieved 115% freight efficiency.
To make it possible top priorities were given to lightweighting (the SuperTruck frame is 700 lb/318 kg lighter than a standard tractor frame) and a hybrid diesel/electric engine with a Waste Heat Recovery system (that converts the engine’s wasted exhaust heat into usable energy).
Another outstanding efficiency-boosting feature is a GPS-based predictive system that automatically shifts trucks into lower gears as they approach hills.
Nature is a reach source of inspiration even when talking about developing truck concepts and Volvo Trucks confirms that. The Aero Neumatic (Long Haul) Transport System is the result of extensive research in biomimicry. Implementing ants behavior as a cohesive system, this Volvo truck is composed of compartments (like individual ants) each on its own wheels and each supporting its own weight. These flexible units allow the truck to be filled to capacity even in case of different cargo types. Thus this concept helps to avoid one of the main reasons of irrational cargo transportation.
Volvo Ants is an absolutely emissions-free vehicle, what is provided by an electric engine, powered by Li-ion batteries.
Mercedes Benz "Future Truck 2025"
In comparison to other concepts, the creators of this truck don’t claim that their invention is superefficient in terms of fuel economy. The main innovative technology used in this concept is autonomous driving. But what the creators do claim is that in a decade their driverless truck will be a common road user.
The truck is driven by "Highway Pilot" system, which steers, accelerates and brakes autonomously. The Mercedes Benz Future Truck determines its position on the road with the help of such technologies as "vehicle-to-vehicle communication"/V2V (also known as "car-to car communication"/C2C among passenger cars) and "vehicle-to-infrastructure communication"/V2I (that uses satellite navigation to check infrastructure’s communication network).
In 2014 this concept truck made its first debut on a closed-off section of the Autobahn. Just in a year a Mercedes-Benz Actros truck, installed with the "Highway Pilot" system was tested out on the public road. So, we see that Mercedes Benz Team is really serious about its ambitions.