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Daimler introduces first SAE Level 2 automated truck in North America with the Freightliner New Cascadia

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Daimler Trucks North America introduces the first SAE Level 2 automated truck in series production in North America with the latest enhancements to the Freightliner new Cascadia. (Courtesy: DAIMLER TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA)

LAS VEGAS — Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) Monday introduced the first SAE Level 2 automated truck in series production in North America with the latest enhancements to the Freightliner new Cascadia.

Level 2 automation means the truck is capable of both lateral (steering) and longitudinal (acceleration/deceleration) control.

The truck is part of the revolutionary truck technologies featured by DTNA at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94 percent of crashes are attributable to human error.

Automating acceleration, deceleration and steering reduces the chance for human error, mitigates collisions and can potentially save lives. These technologies can also enhance the driver experience by making the truck-driving task easier, thereby improving driver comfort and well-being, according to Kelly Gedert, director of product marketing for Freightliner and Detroit.

DTNA’s expertise in automation is backed by Daimler Trucks, which also said Monday at CES an investment of over half a billion dollars and an addition of more than 200 new jobs in its global push to put highly automated trucks (SAE Level 4) on the road within a decade. Most of these jobs will be located at the new Daimler Trucks Automated Truck Research & Development Center at DTNA’s headquarters in Portland, Oregon.

In May 2015, DTNA pioneered automated driving with the introduction of the Freightliner Inspiration Truck, which was the first automated truck licensed to operate on U.S. public highways.

Today, the new Cascadia delivers SAE Level 2 driving capabilities with the Detroit Assurance 5.0 suite of camera- and radar-based safety systems. This new, proprietary system marks a key milestone in Freightliner’s relentless pursuit of industry-leading overall safety, driver experience, and fuel efficiency, Gedert said.

The system can accelerate, decelerate, and steer independently. The Detroit Assurance 5.0 Adaptive Cruise Control and Active Lane Assist features make automated driving possible in all speed ranges for the first time in a series production truck, including:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control to 0 mph: Improves safety, efficiency and driver comfort by automatically decelerating and accelerating to maintain a safe following distance. This technology is especially important for maintaining a comfortable driving experience in congested traffic conditions where repeated braking, accelerating and resetting of traditional cruise control can lead to driver fatigue.
  • Active Lane Assist: Consists of Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Protection. When Adaptive Cruise Control is enabled, Lane Keep Assist supports the driver by using micro-steering movements to keep the new Cascadia centered in its detected lane. With Lane Departure Protection, if the truck begins to drift without the turn signal engaged, the system will counter steer the truck back into its lane and give an auditory and visual warning.

In addition to Level 2 automated driving features, the Detroit Assurance 5.0 active safety and advanced driver assistance systems are designed to keep truck drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists safe:

  • Active Brake Assist 5.0: The fusion of Detroit Assurance 5.0 camera and radar technology detects moving pedestrians and cyclists in front of the truck and can deploy full braking – an industry first. It can also detect and mitigate a collision with full braking on moving and stationary vehicles and objects.
  • Side Guard Assist: Detects objects, including pedestrians and cyclists, in the passenger-side blind spot for the tractor and a full-length 53-foot trailer, another industry first, and delivers an audible and visual warning.

“The enhancements we’ve made to Detroit Assurance have the potential to make an immediate, measurable and positive impact on overall North American road safety,” Gedert said. “In fact, fleets with trucks equipped with forward collision mitigation systems can experience a 60 percent to 80 percent reduction in rear-end crashes, resulting in potentially fewer accidents and reduced operational costs to our customers.”

Detroit Connect Analytics provides fleets with analysis and key insights on the performance of the new Detroit Assurance 5.0 safety features. Fleets will be notified if drivers have their hands off the wheel for longer than 60 seconds.

Gedert said the new Cascadia also features one of the industry’s most efficient designs, inside and out.

“Thanks to DTNA’s significant investment in ongoing R&D in aerodynamics, powertrain development and systems intelligence, the new Cascadia delivers a 35 percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the first Cascadia introduced in 2007. This equates to annual savings of up to 4,700 gallons of fuel per truck, which is the amount of fuel consumed by six typical family cars in a year,” he said.

The new truck also offers aerodynamic enhancements the include Aerodynamic Height Control. An industry first, Aerodynamic Height Control electronically lowers the suspension height at 55 mph to optimize airflow over and under the front of the truck and reduce drag. Other enhancements include Michelin X Line D+ Energy tires developed in collaboration with Michelin, which reduce rolling resistance in 6×4 applications, and a low ground clearance bumper.

Gedert said another critical component of the new Cascadia’s performance is its Integrated Detroit Powertrain, a powerful combination of a proprietary heavy-duty engine, transmission, and axle that is designed to seamlessly work together for maximum efficiency. The integrated powertrain features Intelligent Powertrain Management 6, which uses the truck’s kinetic energy to automatically adjust to the truck’s surroundings by reducing braking power and making transmission and engine adjustments, saving fuel and reducing wear and tear on components.

“It’s not just the new Cascadia’s aerodynamic shape, specific options or powertrain components that make it the best – it’s that these features are engineered to seamlessly work together,” said Kary Schaefer, general manager, marketing and strategy for Daimler Trucks North America. “And we are the only truck manufacturer to offer that level of integration.”

For fleets concerned with fuel economy, Detroit Connect Analytics will also introduce new Intelligent Powertrain Management reporting capabilities, and the fuel analysis will indicate if the vehicle is using Aerodynamic Height Control, Schaefer said.

“With more than 65,000 customer deliveries to date and 50,000 on order, the new Cascadia has proven to be the Class 8 truck of choice in the industry,” she said. “We’re proud to be once again raising the bar.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Kenworth and Toyota collaborate to develop zero emission trucks

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The Kenworth T680s will transport cargo across the Los Angeles basin and to inland cities — such as Ontario and San Bernardino — while generating zero emissions, other than water vapor. (Courtesy: KENWORTH TRUCK CO.)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Kenworth Truck Co. and Toyota Motor North America are collaborating to develop 10 zero-emission Kenworth T680s powered by Toyota hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrains.

The collaboration was revealed during CES2019 here.

This collaboration is part of a $41 million Zero and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Facilities (ZANZEFF) grant preliminarily awarded by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), with the Port of Los Angeles as the prime applicant.

The grant monies are part of a larger $82 million program that will put fuel cell electric tractors, hydrogen fueling infrastructure, and zero emissions cargo handling equipment into operation in the ports and Los Angeles basin in 2020.

The Kenworth T680s will transport cargo across the Los Angeles basin and to inland cities — such as Ontario and San Bernardino — while generating zero emissions, other than water vapor, thanks to their fully electric hydrogen fuel cell powertrain integrations co-developed by Kenworth and Toyota.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Kenworth and Toyota to work together to both explore and drive the development of advanced zero emission technologies that will play a critical role in the commercial transportation of the future,” said Mike Dozier, Kenworth general manager and Paccar vice president.

“This is not just a science experiment, the goal is to make a difference in society. To remove pollution and improve the air quality in and around the Port of Los Angeles,” said Bob Carter, executive vice president, Toyota Motor North America.

The Kenworth T680s with the Toyota hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrains combine hydrogen gas and air to produce electricity. The electricity powers electric motors to move the trucks, while also charging the lithium-ion batteries to optimize performance as needed. Sophisticated power management systems will apportion the electrical power from the fuel cells to the motors, batteries, and other components, such as electrified power steering and brake air compressors. The hydrogen fuel cell electric powered Kenworth T680s will have a range of over 300 miles under normal drayage operating conditions.

The program will also fund foundational hydrogen fuel infrastructure, including two new fueling stations that, subject to a final investment decision by Equilon Enterprises LLC (dba Shell Oil Products U.S.), will be developed through Shell Oil Products U.S., to support the operation of the fuel cell electric trucks in Southern California.

For more information on Kenworth, visit www.kenworth.com.

For more information on Toyota, visit www.toyota.com.

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Mack Trucks releases ninth and final episode of RoadLife series

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Mack Trucks concluded its RoadLife series with “RoadLife Reunion,” the ninth and final episode, available now on roadlife.tv and Amazon Prime Video. The episode takes viewers behind the scenes of RoadLife production, including a special reunion event featuring the stars of the series. (Courtesy: MACK TRUCKS)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Mack Trucks has released “RoadLife Reunion,” the ninth and final episode of its RoadLife series on roadlife.tv and Amazon Prime Video.

“RoadLife Reunion” provides a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the series, including additional footage from each episode, further acknowledging the extraordinary efforts of the hard working men and  women of the trucking industry.

Click on photo to view Reunion episode

“Not many brands could genuinely develop a series like this, with well-known celebrity partners presented on equal footing with customers and drivers,” said John Walsh, vice president of marketing, Mack Trucks. “Mack’s unique combination of rich history, remarkable customers and talented storytellers brought us this incredible series.”

“RoadLife Reunion” also features interviews with the Mack marketing team members behind the series as they share how each episode came to life from storyboarding through final production. All told, the team traveled 32,325 miles over 136 days in capturing footage for the series.

The journey began in New York City, the birthplace of Mack Trucks, and continued through 31 additional cities, culminating in a reunion at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania, where those featured in the series shared their distinct experiences.

“A lot of companies talk about family, but for Mack, it’s always been real,” Walsh said. “If you do business with Mack, if you’re employed by Mack, if you’re a Mack dealer, you become part of the Mack family. And everyone who took part in RoadLife is now part of that family too.”

“RoadLife Reunion,” as well as the other eight episodes in the RoadLife series, is available on roadlife.tv and Amazon Prime Video. In addition, viewers can access RoadLife bonus content on Mack Trucks’ social channels Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

 

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Paccar brings battery-electric, hydrogen fuel cell trucks to Vegas electronics show

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The Peterbilt Model 220EV was one of the energy-efficient trucks Paccar brought to the table at CES in Las Vegas this week.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Three zero-emission vehicles in the form of a battery-electric Peterbilt Model 579EV; a battery-electric Peterbilt Model 220EV; and a hydrogen fuel cell electric Kenworth T680 developed in collaboration with Toyota is what Paccar brought to the table this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 in Las Vegas.

CES is one of the world’s largest showcases for the latest in technological innovation.

The trucks were designed for a range of applications, including OTR freight delivery, port operations and urban distribution.

Visitors are welcome to climb aboard the trucks and explore the advanced powertrains at Paccar’s booth, near the Westgate monorail station. In addition, visitors to the booth can learn about other Paccar technologies such as next-generation driver assistance systems, truck platooning and in-cab human-machine interfaces.

Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF are among the leaders in the development of alternative powertrain commercial vehicles. Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF are field-testing battery-electric, hydrogen fuel cell and hybrid powertrain vehicles with customers in North America and Europe. “Paccar is excited about the opportunity to create the next generation of powertrains that are environmentally-friendly and enhance our customers’ operations,” said Landon Sproull, Paccar vice president.

Kyle Quinn, Paccar chief technology officer, said Paccar is investing in the latest technology across its portfolio of products, adding that the Paccar Innovation Center in Silicon Valley, California, has enhanced the company’s access to emerging technologies and talent from around the world.

 

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