We know the future of transport to be electric, connected and autonomous ideally but there are different versions of how that may look like. The TU Munich has come up with a concept called Truck2030 that includes the use of long and heavy LHV trucks and also fun ideas.
First of all, the scientists assume that trucks “will remain essential to cargo transport” for decades to come and deduct that “efficient and environmentally friendly transport concepts are of continuing importance when it comes to reducing road traffic and emissions.”
Their ideas to take stress off the road and the planet include the Europe-wide approval for the use of LHV trucks (Longer Heavier Vehicles) as well as a multifunctional driver’s cab. (We will ignore their suggestion of diesel-hybrid trucks for now.)
Particularly the driver’s cab design is interesting. Build on the idea of a largely self-driving truck, the cab envisioned by the TUM includes cables and pulleys which can be used for exercise. Aspects of gamification are to motivate the trucker to train while on the road.
On a more somber note, they suggest to use very long trucks with a length of 25.25 metres in order to combine loads and to make transport more efficient. In their scenario the researchers propose using diesel plug-in hybrid drives. They deem an all-electric truck not feasible at the moment “since a battery capable of providing sufficient energy for the necessary range would be too large and too heavy,” according to the press release.
Here we cannot help but stress that concepts like Siemens eHighway are already looking at long range solutions (albeit hybrid) operating not unlike a train or tram reportedly.
The Truck2030 is a TU Munich research project in collaboration with the OTH Regensburg (Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule) as well as five industry partners such as Knorr-Bremse and AVL.