Commercial vehicle exhibition opens in Illinois

The 2005 SAE Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress & Exhibition opened Wednesday at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

It is the industry’s largest technical gathering bringing together a global assembly of on- and off-highway engineering professionals. The technical program for today was focused on key industry issues from the broadest perspective to individual sessions on specific technologies.

Industry leaders from the key OEMS and suppliers of advanced electronic systems to the on- and off-highway sectors shared the technology trends that are having an impact on the future of electronics in the commercial vehicle industry.

The discussions involved the challenges of electronic control of mechanical systems, global positioning, communication architecture and human-machine interface technologies and their impact on future design and systems. Participants included representatives from Caterpillar, Inc.; John Deere & Co. and International Truck & Engine. Specific topics covered included Product Verification & Validation, Commercial Vehicle security in a post 9-11 world, and thoughtful integration of mechanical, hydraulic, electrical, and electronic systems. On the applications side, construction, agricultural and trucking industry professionals gathered at the session on Intelligent Vehicle Technology to discuss the philosophies and strategies adopted by their respective organizations in adopting leading edge electronics technologies. These pioneers shared both, the advantages and challenges of their experiences.

"Advanced Electronics Day" also included a discussion by senior scientists from National Research Labs – Argonne National Lab, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, National Renewable Energy Lab, Scandia National Lab, Pacific Northwest National Labs – who discussed exciting new applications for powertrain systems, aerodynamic drag reduction, hybrid vehicle propulsion, composite materials and low emission engines for commercial vehicles.

Fleet and vendor perspectives on the future of vehicle maintenance were subjects of this panel discussion lead by the American Trucking Association. The panel offered its predictions on the type of maintenance that will be required on future commercial vehicles, suggestions as to who will provide future maintenance services and what role fleet managers will play in either direct or indirect management of these services.

Sessions on advanced commercial vehicle design covered the practical as well as future use of design and technology to improve components, subsystems and entire vehicles. The ComVec show floor was alive today with displays from more than 125 leading companies in the commercial vehicle arena -- companies like Ford, Caterpillar, GM, International and Cummins were there, as well as a host of Tier 1 and Tier 2 companies like ArvinMeritor, Denso, DuPont, and many others.

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