June 2015

Fleet Management News & Business Info | Commercial Carrier Journal

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Page 32 of 84

commercial carrier journal | june 2015 31 Best-In-Class Hydraulic Stop 1 Gabriel's design provides three to fi ve times greater force absorption than the largest competitor's design. 2 It has better sealing capabilities and signifi cantly reduces fatigue in mounts, lights and other vibration- sensitive components. Gabriel has been perfecting shock absorber technology since inventing the fi rst one in 1907. 1 Where required 2 In Gabriel Testing, Best-In-Class Best-In-Class Hydraulic Stop Hydraulic Stop 1 Hydraulic Stop 1 Hydraulic Stop Heavy-Duty Durability PROVEN through & through N ew fuel efficiency improvements and vehicle connectivity changes are coming, according to Volvo Trucks North America, which shared its visions at last month's Volvo Trucks Business Symposium in Providence, R.I. "It's about drivetrain optimization and aerodynamics, and also about find- ing new ways of building a truck and fine-tuning specifications for dedicated routes and needs," said Göran Nyberg, Volvo Trucks North America president. "No longer does one size and design fit all needs." Volvo's 2016 model-year tractors have incorporated a number of SuperTruck project-related advancements, including powertrain and tractor fairing design changes, which have resulted in fuel efficiency gains of 3.5 percent for aerody- namic enhancements and 2 percent for powertrain improvements. Tony Greszler, vice president of government and industry relations for Volvo Group North America, previewed the company's forthcoming predictive cruise and shifting concept, and he also provided an update on Phase 2 of the National Highway Traffic Safety Admin- istration's greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards. Greszler said the delay from 2024 to 2027 could mean more stringent measures after the agency received pres- sure from environmental groups, and that OEMs may be required to use waste heat recovery systems that essentially amounts to a second engine system on the truck, adding weight and mainte- nance costs. "Truck buyers would be the losers," said Greszler. "A separate engine stan- dard would be redundant. If reason doesn't prevail, the industry could face a mandate that actually reduces total vehicle efficiency. We need to design for fleet applications, not gov- ernment regulations." Connectivity opens tech doors Nyberg said with technology advances and vehicle-to-vehicle communications, connectivity offers far more potential to improve safety and avoid accidents in the trucking industry. "It will change the way we work and communicate and take care of products and equipment," he said. "We at Volvo have decided to be a leader in connectivity in our industry." Susan Alt, senior vice president of public affairs for Volvo Group North America, said Volvo's vision for Pele- ton's platooning solution involves two trucks, one lead vehicle piloted by a driver and a second trailing vehicle with a driver seated behind the wheel in case he needs to take control. The second vehicle would have a video display with a camera feed of road conditions in front of the lead vehicle. "The real benefit is fuel efficiency," Alt said. "The first truck gets better ef- ficiency because of reduced wind drag behind the trailer, and the second truck gets better draft behind the first truck." Platooning solutions face regulatory and public acceptance hurdles. "In Cali- fornia, we are working on legislation that would allow platooning of two or three trucks," said Alt. Jeff Cotner, chief exterior designer for Volvo Trucks North America, said future-generation platooning could lead to only one driver in the pilot vehicle, and that physical connections between the tractor and multiple trailers may not be necessary. "Maybe the tractor is just an air splitter, and the fifth wheel is no longer needed," Cotner said. "The system could automatically widen trailer gaps at low speeds and tighten them at higher speeds." – Jeff Crissey Volvo talks fuel efficiency, connectivity

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