This year’s NACV (North American Commercial Vehicle) Show showcased the latest and greatest in fleet technologies. Companies like Hyundai and Volvo Trucks made big announcements, unveiling concept commercial vehicles that leverage FCEV (fuel cell electric vehicle) technology and a new kit designed to improve fuel efficiency, respectively. Many announcements that came from the show focused on increasing truck and fleet efficiency, comfort, and connectivity.
In fact, the NACV show floor was a microcosm of what’s important right now to fleet owners and operators. It demonstrated telematics platforms that can help fleet and commercial vehicle owners and operators collect more data on trucks and fleets as a whole. There were also fuel-efficient technologies and solutions on display, with an emphasis on EV (electric vehicle) technologies, and there was plenty of safety tech, like driver-assistance solutions, being shown off too.
Specific announcements include MEKRA Lang’s new Digital Vision System, which offers features like digital trailer panning and driver assistance overlays, both meant to improve drivers’ safety and confidence on the road. Orange EV, an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) that’s commercially deploying 100% electric Class 8 trucks, displayed its T-Series Pure Electric Terminal Truck and announced another facility expansion. Automotive supplier and tire manufacturer Continental displayed a new smart steer tire, the Conti HSR 3, which adds to its lineup of steer tires designed to improve fuel efficiency and tire monitoring capabilities. Continental also announced a TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system), ContiPressureCheck Solo, which helps fleets stay compliant with changing environmental regulations.
An announcement from Volkswagen and NXP Semiconductors at NACV suggests progress is being made in V2X (vehicle-to-everything) connectivity technology. With the rollout of NXP’s RoadLINK V2X communication solution in the new Volkswagen Golf, the companies hope to bring the benefits of V2X to Europe and beyond. By opening a line of communication up between and among cars, V2X tech can help prevent collisions. Importantly, Volkswagen and NXP say the technology can help protect drivers today—even if the infrastructure to support the full range of benefits from V2X isn’t there quite yet.
Finally, Daimler Trucks North America showed off several products and solutions, including a telematics-based vehicle-financing solution—the Dynamic Lease Program from Daimler Truck Financial. The solution leverages telematics and the company’s Detroit Connect Platform to enable pay-as-you-drive financing, matching lease payments to billable miles. The financing solution is an interesting example of how the IoT (Internet of Things) is changing business models for companies in all verticals and industries. By providing financing based on actual mileage/usage, companies like Daimler can provide customized solutions for customers that operate connected commercial vehicles. The Dynamic Lease Program will be available in the first quarter of 2020.
As commercial vehicles get more fuel efficient and more connected, fleet owners and operators will be able to maximize ROI (return on investment), safety, and profitability. The trends that were display at NACV this year mirror in many ways overall trends in transportation—vehicles that are safe, smart, and fuel-efficient.
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