Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) previewed some of the latest productivity improvement technologies on a new Innovation Truck at the 2009 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Innovation Truck featured advanced technologies directly from DTNA's development labs. Starting with Freightliner Trucks' Cascadia. DTNA added a sampling of the most promising cutting-edge advancements that will further enhance fuel economy.
The Innovation Truck reflected greater refinement in aerodynamics with the addition of rear wheel fairings to smooth the airflow around the rear wheels, under body panels that smooth air flow under the chassis, a roof deflector to direct air over the trailer, and a front air splitter incorporated into the front bumper to pass air around the truck.
The Innovation Truck also replaced the mirrors with side view cameras to further reduce drag. The camera system improves the field of view, eliminates blind spots, and reduces the typical “fish eye” effect.
Together these enhancements improve the airflow over, under, and around the vehicle - resulting in further fuel savings.
Further pushing the aerodynamic envelope, the Innovation Truck integrated a dual-ride-height system that, at highway speeds, lowers the tractor height, reducing under chassis drag. The system uses a proprietary front air suspension in conjunction with Freightliner's rear air suspension.
The Innovation Truck was designed with a single drive axle incorporating a load management system that can transfer weight to the drive axle in low traction situations. This configuration also reduced weight and cost.