While some are working to make the modern tractor trailer more environmentally friendly, others are just reinventing it. Meet the Innotruck, an experimental design being developed by Technische Universitaet Muenchen with Siemens and other companies. The researchers are constantly changing and improving the Innotruck as they think of new ways to make the future of trucking better, except of course when they take it to trade shows.
The innovation of this electric vehicle extends beyond its appearance and batteries. The researchers are designing it to be a smart grid on wheels, with the ability to stabilize electric power grids where ever it is plugged in. Diesel Reloaded, the project the Innotruck is a part of, is not just reinventing the truck though, as they are making the interface adaptable for the driver and the truck’s environment.
With a heavy level of computer integration, the software is meant to adapt to the driver’s abilities and behaviors. This will likely improve the experience of the drivers as they navigate their routes. Also the on-board computers monitor the road and adapt to traffic and driver alertness. When there are multiple trucks in the area, they can connect to optimize traffic-flow as well. The researchers are actually working to get a permit for using their drive-by-wire systems on the road.
Instead of just trying to meet new environmental standards, these researchers are trying to set the new standard in trucking. While some of their advances may not make it to the commercial market in the near future, others will, but all of them will very likely influence the future of the industry.