From buses made by 3-D printers to intelligent trucks that can communicate with one another, here are 8 of the coolest trucks and buses of the future you have to see!! 8. Olli The company Local Motors from Arizona created an electric shuttle that’s 3D-printed and partly recyclable. And it’s the first vehicle to use IBM’s Watson cognitive platform for automobiles. The amazing thing about this vehicle is that it was a revolutionary concept that was just printed out! The idea isn’t just to make a new vehicle and make some extra money – but to reshape the car-making business top to bottom. Since it’s made of 3-D printed materials, it will lower production cost significantly. Olli is a minibus that can – “read the road”. It uses a laser-sensing system, known as “lidar” – which is also used by Google’s driverless cars. It also has additional sensors for remote supervision and can measure and track its speed, and take safety precautions.
One of the best safety improvements on it is the so-called “got-to-stop” haptic sensor. This sensor allows Olli to stop as soon as it makes contact with anything in its way, preventing accidents. And thanks to modern technology, it can even communicate with its passengers. Through voice commands, passengers could tell Olli where to take them. The manufacturers plan to have it ride on campuses and airports, but also in urban areas. Some US states, such as Michigan, are opening up to driverless vehicles, and passing laws to allow it. So, the future looks bright. You might see Olli very soon! 7. Nikola One This is a futuristic vehicle from the Nikola Motor Company. Many important people from the industry consider it a game-changer, and it probably is. This truck has six electric motors and can reach 60 mph in just 30 seconds. But its fantastic features do not end here.
Apart from being one mean machine, it’s also a luxury apartment! It has two full-size beds, a 40-inch TV, as well as additional appliances such as a microwave, freezer and refrigerator. And now, listen to this: it also has several high-definition cameras, radar and sonar. With this state-of-the-art equipment, the driver can have an aerial view of both the truck and the trailer. Therefore, there will be no more blind spots, and the overall safety will be increased. Technically speaking, Nikola One is a hybrid: it uses a 320-kilowatt battery and a 300-kilowatt fuel cell. It weighs 2,000 pounds less than a classical semi-truck, and its cruising range is up to 1,200 miles – with all the benefits of electric propulsion.
Since fuel can be a problem, especially for long distances, the Nikola One Company came up with a brilliant idea. They will make a network of hydrogen stations across the USA and Canada, and the construction is scheduled for January 2018! This is a pretty massive plan, with Nikola One and the string of gas stations, but it’s definitely doable. Some experts predict that it will take a couple of years to make all those stations. But this string of hydrogen stations will benefit other vehicle manufacturers as well. Companies such as Toyota or Honda could use that infrastructure to power their own vehicles. All in all, if everything goes according to plan, Nikola One is about to change the whole trucking industry. 6. Navya Arma This is a self-driving bus with 15 seats, which can be programmed for a variety of short-distance trips. All it needs is an inductive charging station, and it’s ready to roll. This mini bus, or shuttle – as it’s also called – has top-notch sensor technology: LiDAR, GPS, RTK, odometer and camera stereovisions.
This enables it to identify road and traffic signs, to detect objects in its path and map out its surroundings. The only downside to Arma is its speed. It isn’t designed to go very fast, as its maximum speed is just 45 km/h. But the speed will probably be limited to 30 km/h, due to the nature of the vehicle. Arma is meant to be a complement to public transport, for distances that are too far to go on foot, but too short to go by car.
At the moment, there is a lot of testing going on in France, and engineers expect everything to go on as planned. Early next year, a five-year trial will start. If the whole testing process goes well, we can expect this handsome devil on our roads in the near future. And now for number 5, but first be sure to subscribe before you leave! For those of you who are already subscribed, welcome back!! 5.
WAVE – Walmart Truck Over the years, Walmart has worked on creating a new vehicle, to be one of the best in the market. They wanted a fuel-efficient, aerodynamic and hybrid truck to replace all existing ones. Lo and behold – the Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience. WAVE, as it has come to be known, is a prototype for a delivery truck destined to reduce emissions and increase efficiency. This truck prides in having light construction and advanced aerodynamic features. It has a micro turbine, and it can run on natural gas, as well as other fuels – without any emissions! Its cockpit is a state-of-the art concept. It looks more like a plane than a truck, thus enabling the driver to have better visibility. This was achieved by placing the driver right in the middle. As for the truck’s trailer, it’s also revolutionary in design.
It’s mostly made up of carbon fiber, saving almost 4,000 pounds compared to older designs. Walmart claims that this is the first carbon-fiber trailer ever produced, and that the 53-foot side panels are the first single pieces of carbon fiber that big! WAVE’s trailer also has a convex nose, which gives it additional aerodynamics efficiency. It is 4,000 pounds lighter than a conventional trailer, which means that the truck can carry more freight without increasing fuel consumption. All in all, this truck can definitely be called a vehicle of the future. Because of its design and features, it will definitely usher in some major changes in the transportation industry. 4. Willie Bus This bus represents a futuristic concept for public transportation. It was designed by Tad Orlowski, and the idea was to replace the bus walls with transparent LCD screens. Wait, what?! Have all the walls replaced with LCD screens? Yup, that’s the idea. This concept actually falls under the category of “mobile advertising”. The point of having an “LCD bus” is to have commercials or movie trailers, as well as tourist information, news summaries and weather reports – right there for everyone to see.
I think I’ve seen something like that in Vegas! Of course, this sounds amazing, but there is also the question of safety. The bus will act as a moving TV, but there is definitely the problem of having other drivers distracted. For now, the concept was thought out more in the area of its design, and less in the area of its functional technicalities. Although the concept has its problems, the LCD bus “Willie” has caught the attention of many European cities. But no moves have been made yet, because the regulatory constraints are too complicated for the time being. However, there have been some talks about revisiting the original idea, and reaching a compromise. Maybe for now, the best solution would be to use smaller LCD screens, instead of covering the whole bus.
Anyway, Willie the Bus is here, one way or another! 3. TEB – Transit Elevated Bus Now, this is something else. This is a concept for an elevating bus that could ride above the traffic. China is facing a ton of traffic problems, and the country really needs to rethink its traffic solutions and come up with something new. And this bus could be a breath of fresh air. The vehicle can go 60 km/h and move along rails that would be laid on streets and roads. One of its biggest advantages would be the saving of road space. It would have all the major functions of a subway, but it would cost five times less. And it could replace 40 conventional buses! At least that was the idea. And it has been lingering around for years, until a mini-model was finally shown at the Beijing High-Tech Expo. Everyone was hyped up about this, but it didn’t last long. The test drive for the bus didn’t go so well, and eventually – the project was scrapped. But it doesn’t end there. In July 2017, more than 30 people who were involved in this project were detained by Chinese authorities because of alleged investment fraud.
But the idea for a similar type of bus remains! There is also the concept of ARRT – the Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit, which is like across between a train and a tram. This concept comes from a Chinese company CRRC, and it’s currently under construction, and it will see the light of day in the months to come. Apparently, the Chinese never give up! 2. The Z Truck This amazing vehicle comes from the Iveco Company, and it will definitely be one of the game changers in the industry. The “Z” in its name stands for “zero”, which means – zero CO2 emissions, zero accidents and zero driver’s time. Of course, in reality – it’s still not quite there yet. The more accurate name for this truck would be “Close to zero”, but it just doesn’t have that ring to it, does it? Its engine runs on liquefied natural gas in the form of bio-methane and the fuel is stored in an aluminum tank, protected by foil from heat radiation. It has excellent aerodynamics, an energy-recovery system and a range of 2,200 km (1,360 miles).
The truck’s cabin has the Human Machine Interface, where the driver can read all the data on tire wear, pressure and temperature. For easy viewing, the data is actually projected onto the windshield. It’s like something out of a sci-fi movie! The cabin also has amazing designs. There is a foldable bed, a refrigerator, and a small kitchen, along with a sliding wall that can add 20 inches more space, if need be. When it comes to bringing in some amazing changes, the Z truck means business. 1. The Mercedes-Benz 2025 This future truck is definitely the most revolutionary concept to hit the trucking industry. It doesn’t have a weird-looking design, and it doesn’t have super crazy features, but it is a self-driving truck. It is still a prototype, but the Mercedes Company is doing all in its power to turn this model into a reality by the year 2025. The concept of self-driving cars is nothing new, but the trucking industry is still developing in this area. And the need for self-driving trucks is definitely there.
It’s much safer to let a computer drive a truck on the highway as every year, there are thousands of traffic accidents involving trucks due to human error. This truck will be driven by the automatic system called the Highway Pilot. It’s fully automated, so the driver doesn’t have to do anything. And the truck can handle all sorts of traffic maneuvers. It can pull into the other lane to pass a car, or pull over to allow more room for vehicles coming from behind. The most amazing feature of the 2025 model is the Vehicle-to-Vehicle system. By employing this system, a truck would not depend solely on its sensors. It will use the V2V system to “communicate” with other vehicles through the “Vehicle-to-Infrastructure” network, as well as satellite navigation. This is the principle of the so-called “shared intelligence”, and it will definitely revolutionize our idea of traffic and transport. And this is just the beginning. If the 2025 model offers all this, who knows what we could expect in the upcoming decades.
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