The Tractor Trailer of the Future

The Tractor Trailer of the Future
Will the tractor trailer of the future look like something out of a science fiction movie? Most likely, as aero­dy­nam­ics continue to be critical due to fuel costs. Current add-ons, such as wind deflec­tors, trailer skirts, and boat tails reduce fuel usage. Until recently, aero­dy­nam­ics was an after­thought, but the future hauler will be aero­dy­nam­i­cally designed. Designs such as the Volvo Ant, Josh Shercliff’s 2030 Long Haul Concept, or the MAN super stream­lined semi-truck will be the norm, not the exception.

Driver comfort — Con­sid­er­ing the industry-wide driver shortage, combined with the looming massive retire­ment of truck driving boomers, creature comforts aimed at younger drivers will become standard. Ergonom­ics, driver envi­ron­ment, and tech­nol­ogy will be offered to attract new young drivers to the industry. Custom fitted seats, computer inter­faces, and dash­boards designed for the driver’s ease of operation will all be part of the future truck.

Alter­na­tive fuels — Fuels other than gasoline and diesel are con­sid­ered alter­na­tive. There are many alternate fuels, including hydrogen, alcohol, propane, and coal derivatives, but the most likely alter­na­tive fuels of the future are:
• Alcohols – ethanol and methanol
• Natural gas CNG (com­pressed natural gas) and LNG (liquefied natural gas)
• Elec­tric­ity – Electric power will also be combined with other fuels
• Biodiesel – Made from soybean, corn, and other plants

Safety — The truck of the future will not only be designed with crash safety in mind, but with crash pre­ven­tion as well. Using cameras to improve night vision and eliminate blind spots will lessen the chance of driver error. Driver fatigue will be monitored, and pro­ce­dures for driver inter­ven­tion will help keep drivers in unsafe physical condition off the road.

Other features of the future truck will include improved tracking, navigation, and load man­age­ment. The truck of the future will incor­po­rate newer alloys, carbons, and plastics, which will make it lighter and stronger. Overall, the tractor trailer of the future will be safer, more com­fort­able, more tech friendly, and get better fuel mileage than the truck of today. Are you in the trucking industry? What would you like to see on the truck of the future?

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About Randy Clark

Randy Clark is the Director of Communications at TKO Graphix, where he regularly blogs for TKO's Brandwire. Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He is a beer geek and, on weekends, he fronts the rock band, Under The Radar. He is the proud father of one educator, one principal, has four amazing grandchildren, and a public speaker wife who puts up with him. His twitter handle is: @randyclarktko, Facebook: Randy Clarktko, Google+: Randy Clark on G+
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