This week we showed you Kenworth's T680, the most aerodynamic and advanced truck in the brand's history. Coming from the same heavy-duty truck trade show in Louisville, Kentucky, Freightliner unveiled its futuristic Revolution Innovation concept, which shows what the brand could have in store with future models.
Although conventional big-rigs usually come in two basic cab configurations, day cab and sleeper cabs, the Revolution Innovation has what Freightliner is calling a crossover cab. A convertible jumpseat converts into a sleeper for rest. Like many sleeper cabs, the concept has an integrated raised roof, but in a shorter, trimmer package.
The engineers and product development team noticed an increase in interest and sales of day cab trucks, as well as an increased number of one-driver trucks, and set out to optimize the design around the premise of a single driver. Consequently, the Revolution Innovation does not have a full door on the passenger side, but rather a cargo compartment hatch. A full-size access door at the rear of the cab allows the driver to enter and exit from the rear of the cab, after taking care of trailer hook-ups or other duties related to load carrying.
Also conspicuously absent from the exterior of the Revolution Innovation are traditional rear-view mirrors. In their place, video cameras project a rear-view image into the interior of the truck.
A grille opening significantly smaller and lower than traditional trucks required the engineers to mount the radiator and cooling system lower. The interior cooling system for the truck was also rethought, with the AC condenser repositioned mid-chassis with a side air intake, with electric fans operating the system at idle or slow speeds.
And to reduce driveline losses, the truck is equipped with the Detroit Long Haul Tandem rear axle. This design de-clutches the rear axle at highway speeds, allowing it to operate as a tag axle. If the truck detects a loss of traction, it immediately re-engages the rear axle for maximum traction when needed.
The Revolution Innovation will be at industry events and customer venues throughout 2012. For more on the background and development of the truck, click here to watch a video.