Today’s truck designs are vastly different than those of 15 years ago. OEMs have introduced major advancements in aerodynamics, integrated safety systems and new engine and powertrain options that make the squared-off, long-nose offerings of years past look like dinosaurs. But those design changes largely have been incremental over the years.
Until now. Daimler introduced its autonomous driving concept to journalists at its Highway Pilot global press event in Germany in July, but it wasn’t until the eve of the IAA 2014 trade show in Hanover last night that it peeled the wrapper off its Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 concept truck to a contingent of 350 journalists from 30 countries to a wild round of applause.
Certainly, the Future Truck 2025 isn’t your momma’s cabover design. This revolutionary tractor blends years of advancements in technology, aesthetics and design in a way that we haven’t seen in the past. At first glance, the first thing you might notice is the absence of headlights. Those are replaced with a panel of LED lights that shine through the grille’s paint. The grille itself is simply a single molded panel that encompasses nearly the entire front of the truck. The only discernible line on the front of the truck is the bumper panel.
Also missing are side mirrors. Instead, Daimler opted for “mirror cameras” that display the tractor-trailer’s surroundings on 12-inch screens inside the cab. Daimler says these cameras are less susceptible to road grime and provide better visibility in inclement weather. All of these improvements claim to improve aerodynamics and fuel economy based on in-house wind tunnel tests.
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