Connected Last Mile Refrigeration Cargo

Tropos, Panasonic show compact CVs

Jan. 14, 2020
Right-Sized Emergency Firetruck, Last Mile Refrigeration Cargo concept vehicles feature OneConnect software, services

Panasonic and Tropos Motors recently revealed two multi-technology, production-ready compact utility commercial vehicles powered by Panasonic’s proprietary software and cloud services platform, OneConnect.

The companies say the “right-sized, highly capable” fleet truck concepts present a “more accessible and more agile” fleet approach intended to keep business flowing in tight or last-mile spaces.

“The goal is to address the needs of businesses that depend on small commercial vehicles with a practical and efficient solution,” said John Bautista, Tropos founder and CEO. “With an ability to accommodate both large and purpose-built payloads, our vehicles are created with versatility in mind to fulfill the requirements of any corporate, first-responder, agricultural or last-mile application.”

The vehicles were on display during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas NV.

The Connected Right-Sized Emergency Firetruck production concept showed a Tropos right-sized firetruck outfitted with a rugged Panasonic TOUGHBOOKTM FZ-G1 Tablet to track or receive emergency information. All trucks will be equipped OneConnect analytics to provide battery/maintenance health, as well as tampering and theft analytics, Panasonic said. Note: A full-sized firetruck could cost as much as $500,000, and the Tropos FRV fire truck is one-tenth the cost with similar capabilities and the width of a typical cart path. Due to its smaller stature, this truck can access emergency situations with tighter spaces, and even fit underneath most parking structure height restrictions. 

The Connected Last Mile Refrigeration Cargo is the second production concept showing a Tropos right-sized Hussmann cold chain cargo truck outfitted with small compartment RADBD Vacuum Insulation Panel (VIP) insulated coolers. This technology stays 13 times colder than regular polyurethane coolers in the market and is thinner to allow for more product in the cooler, the companies claimed. With its recyclable and energy savings nature, there is no need for additional technology to refrigerate the entire cargo box. VIP is a solution for metro, small-store deliveries. In addition, with compartmentalized cooling, there is no additional energy draw on the electrical/battery system of the truck. “Our VIP insulation technology helps save in multiple ways, (including) overall cost and clean energy, as there is less need for cooling from compression devices,” said Jeff Howell, president of Panasonic Industrial Devices Sales Company.

Panasonic’s OneConnect global platform ensures vehicles are maintained and up-to-date by providing predictive maintenance reminders to the driver, while providing analytics via the platform to the OEM and end consumer. According to Statista, by 2023, there will be more than 342 million connected vehicles worldwide. As represented in the concept vehicle, OneConnect analytics can be customized to focus on electric vehicle data, creating algorithms that improve battery efficiency, and optimize short- and long-term vehicle health, Panasonic maintained. OneConnect analytics and data can be stored or accessed through SkipGen or SPYDR and transferred between the OEM, vehicle and end consumer.