Trucks carry 70 percent of all goods in the US. In urban regions, road transport continues to grow. Electrification, automation and connectivity are needed to improve traffic flow and reduce energy consumption. Prof. Giorgio Rizzoni has analyzed what future powertrains for trucks will look like.
70 percent of goods are currently transported by truck in the US. But how will future trucks be driven? Electrification has picked up speed to an extent that hardly anyone expected ten years ago. The ecologic and economic challenges are huge. Information technology, automation and connectivity will play a big role in reducing emissions and energy use. Geofencing, for example – a technology that can trigger defined actions when crossing geographic borders – can support smarter truck behavior. Eco driving and eco routing will help reduce fuel consumption. The choice of optionssuch as bio fuels, hydrogen and electric drives will lead to dramatically new powertrain solutions. What’s more, the importance of delivery services will grow further in urban regions. Connectivity and cloud services can help create “smart” cities that streamline traffic flows in increasingly crowdedscenarios. They will allow for more safety, for example by adapting turning radius speed to weatherconditions. However, standards for functional safety and cyber security must be developed with care to safeguard these new technologies.