In releasing its vision of what trucks will look like in 2020, Volvo is suggesting the trucking industry of the future is going to look a lot different to how it does today. The ‘Concept Truck 2020’ is said to be Volvo’s bold vision for the future and was announced by Rikard Orell, Design Director. The concept envisages long multiple combination vehicles, controlled by auto pilot and driven in nose-to-tail convoys on green super motorways.
“Progress is getting ever faster,” said Rikard. “Because of this our vision for the future is not that far away. Much of the technology in the Volvo Concept Truck 2020 is already available, other technology needs to be developed. One needs to dare and stride firmly into the debate, demonstrating what one can and will do. Just tinkering at the edge runs the risk of progress slipping away.”
One of the concepts on show is known as ‘platooning’, where a number of trucks run directly behind each other linked wirelessly to a control system in the lead truck. What ever the driver in the first truck does is replicated in exactly the same position by each truck in the queue. On large open highways it is said it will be possible to run these convoys in large numbers at 90 km/h.
“This will be possible when the transport sector’s vision of green corridors becomes reality,” said Rikard. “Here heavy goods vehicles are separated from other traffic, driving in their own lane, like a railway but without rails.”
The dashboard in the truck is replaced with a thin film panel on which information is tailored to suit the driver. It operates like a touchpad in a similar way to the iPhone. The typical driver’s seat is replaced with a new design with a ventilated mesh backrest. The driver’s bunk has been designed in the style of a futon, folding out when the driver needs it.