10 new and emerging technologies for trucks in 2022

Trucks, trailers, and other commercial vehicle parts are hard to find amid supply chain challenges in 2022, but that hasn’t dampened the creativity of engineering teams.

Here’s our list of the top 10 trucking technology updates that emerged this year:

The fuel-free X-Series engine platform from Cummins. (Photo: Cummins)

1 – Engine Agnostic Platform – Cummins

Available fuel options range from diesel to natural gas. Hydrogen is even emerging as a future contender. But Cummins uses a unique “agnostic” engine design to support all of these options.

Although the individual engines have not been optimized for a single fuel, they will share a common design and components under the head gaskets. The final results will help OEMs integrate the three fuel types into different truck lines. Training of technicians will also be facilitated.

The new design approach will be applied to the Cummins B-, L- and X-series engine portfolio.

Jacobs cylinder deactivation and active decompression technologies are currently being demonstrated. (Photo: James Menzies)

2 – Cylinder Deactivation and Active Decompression – Jacobs Vehicle Systems

This year, we got the first experience with Jacobs cylinder deactivation and active decompression technologies, through a specially equipped demonstration vehicle. And while these technologies aren’t available on today’s engines, we’re confident that each will have a role to play as OEMs prepare for model year 2027 emission standards.

Cylinder deactivation allows a six-cylinder engine to use only four cylinders or fewer under certain operating conditions, in the name of better fuel economy, and the system also maintains the temperatures required for engine exhaust aftertreatment. exhaust under low load and starting conditions.

Active decompression, meanwhile, reduces the traditional harshness of engine starts and stops – keeping the engine valves open and the cylinders decompressed for a smooth stop. This aspect will become increasingly important as manufacturers consider automatic starts and stops to improve fuel economy.

In addition to reducing starting torque by 40% and allowing the engine to run at up to twice its normal speed for smoother starting, Active Decompression also aids cold weather starting by allowing the engine to run during decompression.

S13 Combined Powertrain. (Photo: Navistar)

3 – Navistar S13 Integrated Powertrain

Navistar says the S13 integrated powertrain is the last internal combustion engine it will design from scratch. And when combined with the latest aerodynamic improvements on an International LT, it can reduce fuel consumption by 15% of a first-generation LT and the A26 engine.

The engine is mated to a T14 automated manual transmission that, when specified at its best outputs, runs, usually, in 13th gear.

The improvements don’t stop there.

A clean combustion cycle greatly reduces the required level of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), so no EGR cooler is needed. Active Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) regenerations are a thing of the past. A fixed geometry turbo even offers a simplified alternative to the variable geometry turbos fitted to previous engines.

Description: ConMet

4 – eHub and Vector reefer – ConMet and Carrier Transicold

Transport refrigeration units (TRUs) require energy, and a recent innovation captures the kinetic energy of a vehicle.

ConMet’s eHub sets, featuring an 80 kW electric motor, convert this energy into electricity stored in a 30 kW battery under the trailer. A pair of these hubs can also provide Carrier Transicold’s Vector TRU with power for refrigeration.

The electric concentrator can further supplement propulsion and help a vehicle climb a slope.

The system weighs about 1,400 pounds with batteries, but the upgrade is actually weight neutral when you remove the gas and diesel tanks that a TRU typically requires.

Description: Volvo Trucks North America

5 – Shift with dual power take-off – Volvo Trucks

Volvo’s I-Shift automated manual transmission now offers a dual power take-off (PTO), consisting of two independent-clutch DIN 5462 drives, or an SAE 1410 flange and a DIN 5462 drive.

Separating the drives creates space to install two pumps, simplifying installations and maintenance, the OEM says. And because the output drives are independently clamped, applications can be serviced separately or simultaneously.

Active side protection assistance. Description: Daimler Trucks

6 – Active Side Protection Assistance – Daimler Truck

The security systems of Detroit Insurance has been improved again, this time incorporating theActive Side Guard Assist, an electronic co-pilot that monitors pedestrians and cyclists as the truck makes low-speed turns on the passenger side.

A yellow warning triangle lights up on the cabin’s right A-pillar if the camera and radar detect an impaired road user. This triangle will turn red if the driver activates the right turn signal or actually initiates a turn, while an alarm sounds and the brakes apply.

It is an option on Freightliner Cascadia and Western Star trucks equipped with the Detroit Assurance Active Brake Assist 5 system.

Photo: Thermo King

7 – Previous S-750i – Thermo King

The whole is often greater than the sum of its individual parts, and that’s the case with Thermo King’s Precedent S-750i trailer refrigeration unit, which features electrification, integrated shore power, on-board telematics and a planetary warning low potential coolant.

Incorporating the company’s S-Series engine, it features several firsts, including a three-speed motor that optimizes efficiencies, precise temperature controls, and a diesel-electric architecture that optimized for shore power integration.

The result is up to four times more efficient than a diesel-powered alternative, producing fewer emissions, reducing noise by three decibels and extending maintenance intervals through reduced diesel operation.

Photo: Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies

8 – Endurant XD and XD Pro Transmissions – Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies

Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies’ XD and XD Pro transmissions bring automated manual transmissions to on-road applications with high gross vehicle weight ratings, as well as heavy-duty on-road and off- road application.

The Endurant XD – for applications such as doubles and triples, and applications such as dump trucks and logging trucks – is designed for engines that deliver 1,650 to 1,850 lb-ft of torque , and for highway applications of up to 166,000 lbs. total vehicle weight.

The Endurant XD Pro offers an unlimited gross combined weight rating for extreme applications. It can be configured with up to six reverse gears and paired with engines like the Cummins X15 with torque ratings of 1,650 to 2,050 lb-ft.

Its features include a dual countershaft design with helical gearing and large bearings for high engine torques. The new 18D gear set, with an overall ratio of 20.5:1, features small increments for smooth shifting and optimal performance, the company added. The drivetrain is even 225 lbs lighter than comparable UltraShift Plus models.

Kelly Hawes, CEO of Cold Star Solutions. Photo: Leo Barros.

9 – Class 6 Electric Refrigerated Truck – Lion Electric, Volta Air, Fourgons Leclair

Canada’s first all-electric Class 6 refrigerated truck was made possible by the collaboration of four companies: Cold Star Solutions of Victoria, Volta Air of Burnaby, British Columbia, and Quebec companies Lion Electrique and Fourgons Leclair.

Cold Star Solutions CEO Kelly Hawes was the driving force behind the final product as he researched ways to limit the weight of a Lion 6 battery electric truck, its batteries, refrigerator, box loading area and its tailgate. Volta Air brought the 300 pound electric reefer with solar panels to add operating hours and reduce battery weight. As for the Fourgons Leclair, it developed a highly insulated loading box.

The final product has a range of 230 km with four batteries providing 168 kWh of energy. Adding two additional batteries makes it possible to reach 252 kWh and a range of 340 km.

Photo credit: Loblaws

10 – Fully autonomous delivery truck – Gatik

Adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and systems that follow lane markings offer a taste of what highly autonomous trucks can achieve. Loblaw and Gatik are now going a step further by allowing “safety drivers” to sit in the passenger seats of delivery trucks – an important step towards truly autonomous deliveries.

Gatik equips Ford Transit 350 dump trucks with reefs, boom barriers and all important autonomous vehicle software.

A handful of these trucks have been tested with safe drivers behind the wheel since January 2020, making more than 150,000 deliveries for Canada’s largest grocer, and recording a perfect safety record while on the way. They continuously deliver on fixed, repetitive and predictable routes between the Toronto area distribution center and five nearby retail locations.

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