Aerodynamic antenna package for next Freightliner generation

The next generation of Freightliner trucks will be fitted with an aerodynamic film antenna package, according to an announcement by Hirschmann Car Communication.

The new compact and flexible design of the antenna can be integrated into the body of the prime mover – reducing the need for bulky roof and cab antennas on the new trucks. This is part of a long-term development programme by Freightliner to reduce wind resistance on their latest designs.

Not only will the new system optimise aerodynamics and, therefore, reduce fuel consumption but will also reduce costs for the operator. In the US alone, Freightliner estimates truck fleets have to replace something like 20 per cent of their conventional rod antennas within a year of going into service due to damage caused on the highway.

The new antenna system requires no external components to be fitted to the truck and can handle the reception and transmission of UHF radio as well as AM and FM radio channels. The antennas are adapted to the available installation space sitting between the structural body panels and the interior lining of the cabin.

The new antenna are the result of a five-year development programme by both Freightliner and Hirschmann. “With its Innovation Truck concept vehicle, Freightliner is moving in the direction of trucks with optimal aerodynamics, from redesigned fairings and body panels, to reduction of external components such as exposed exhaust pipes or radio antennas,” said Oliver Neale, Vice President Sales and Marketing for Hirschmann.

“Large trucks used to have many bulky antennas on the roof, fenders and mirrors. We now offer a system that enables our customer to develop the aerodynamic design without having to worry about the antennas. It is one of the first innovative components of the concept vehicle that went into series production.”

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