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Daimler introduces first SAE Level 2 automated truck in North America with the Freightliner New Cascadia

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Daimler Trucks North America introduces the first SAE Level 2 automated truck in series production in North America with the latest enhancements to the Freightliner new Cascadia. (Courtesy: DAIMLER TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA)

LAS VEGAS — Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) Monday introduced the first SAE Level 2 automated truck in series production in North America with the latest enhancements to the Freightliner new Cascadia.

Level 2 automation means the truck is capable of both lateral (steering) and longitudinal (acceleration/deceleration) control.

The truck is part of the revolutionary truck technologies featured by DTNA at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94 percent of crashes are attributable to human error.

Automating acceleration, deceleration and steering reduces the chance for human error, mitigates collisions and can potentially save lives. These technologies can also enhance the driver experience by making the truck-driving task easier, thereby improving driver comfort and well-being, according to Kelly Gedert, director of product marketing for Freightliner and Detroit.

DTNA’s expertise in automation is backed by Daimler Trucks, which also said Monday at CES an investment of over half a billion dollars and an addition of more than 200 new jobs in its global push to put highly automated trucks (SAE Level 4) on the road within a decade. Most of these jobs will be located at the new Daimler Trucks Automated Truck Research & Development Center at DTNA’s headquarters in Portland, Oregon.

In May 2015, DTNA pioneered automated driving with the introduction of the Freightliner Inspiration Truck, which was the first automated truck licensed to operate on U.S. public highways.

Today, the new Cascadia delivers SAE Level 2 driving capabilities with the Detroit Assurance 5.0 suite of camera- and radar-based safety systems. This new, proprietary system marks a key milestone in Freightliner’s relentless pursuit of industry-leading overall safety, driver experience, and fuel efficiency, Gedert said.

The system can accelerate, decelerate, and steer independently. The Detroit Assurance 5.0 Adaptive Cruise Control and Active Lane Assist features make automated driving possible in all speed ranges for the first time in a series production truck, including:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control to 0 mph: Improves safety, efficiency and driver comfort by automatically decelerating and accelerating to maintain a safe following distance. This technology is especially important for maintaining a comfortable driving experience in congested traffic conditions where repeated braking, accelerating and resetting of traditional cruise control can lead to driver fatigue.
  • Active Lane Assist: Consists of Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Protection. When Adaptive Cruise Control is enabled, Lane Keep Assist supports the driver by using micro-steering movements to keep the new Cascadia centered in its detected lane. With Lane Departure Protection, if the truck begins to drift without the turn signal engaged, the system will counter steer the truck back into its lane and give an auditory and visual warning.

In addition to Level 2 automated driving features, the Detroit Assurance 5.0 active safety and advanced driver assistance systems are designed to keep truck drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists safe:

  • Active Brake Assist 5.0: The fusion of Detroit Assurance 5.0 camera and radar technology detects moving pedestrians and cyclists in front of the truck and can deploy full braking – an industry first. It can also detect and mitigate a collision with full braking on moving and stationary vehicles and objects.
  • Side Guard Assist: Detects objects, including pedestrians and cyclists, in the passenger-side blind spot for the tractor and a full-length 53-foot trailer, another industry first, and delivers an audible and visual warning.

“The enhancements we’ve made to Detroit Assurance have the potential to make an immediate, measurable and positive impact on overall North American road safety,” Gedert said. “In fact, fleets with trucks equipped with forward collision mitigation systems can experience a 60 percent to 80 percent reduction in rear-end crashes, resulting in potentially fewer accidents and reduced operational costs to our customers.”

Detroit Connect Analytics provides fleets with analysis and key insights on the performance of the new Detroit Assurance 5.0 safety features. Fleets will be notified if drivers have their hands off the wheel for longer than 60 seconds.

Gedert said the new Cascadia also features one of the industry’s most efficient designs, inside and out.

“Thanks to DTNA’s significant investment in ongoing R&D in aerodynamics, powertrain development and systems intelligence, the new Cascadia delivers a 35 percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the first Cascadia introduced in 2007. This equates to annual savings of up to 4,700 gallons of fuel per truck, which is the amount of fuel consumed by six typical family cars in a year,” he said.

The new truck also offers aerodynamic enhancements the include Aerodynamic Height Control. An industry first, Aerodynamic Height Control electronically lowers the suspension height at 55 mph to optimize airflow over and under the front of the truck and reduce drag. Other enhancements include Michelin X Line D+ Energy tires developed in collaboration with Michelin, which reduce rolling resistance in 6×4 applications, and a low ground clearance bumper.

Gedert said another critical component of the new Cascadia’s performance is its Integrated Detroit Powertrain, a powerful combination of a proprietary heavy-duty engine, transmission, and axle that is designed to seamlessly work together for maximum efficiency. The integrated powertrain features Intelligent Powertrain Management 6, which uses the truck’s kinetic energy to automatically adjust to the truck’s surroundings by reducing braking power and making transmission and engine adjustments, saving fuel and reducing wear and tear on components.

“It’s not just the new Cascadia’s aerodynamic shape, specific options or powertrain components that make it the best – it’s that these features are engineered to seamlessly work together,” said Kary Schaefer, general manager, marketing and strategy for Daimler Trucks North America. “And we are the only truck manufacturer to offer that level of integration.”

For fleets concerned with fuel economy, Detroit Connect Analytics will also introduce new Intelligent Powertrain Management reporting capabilities, and the fuel analysis will indicate if the vehicle is using Aerodynamic Height Control, Schaefer said.

“With more than 65,000 customer deliveries to date and 50,000 on order, the new Cascadia has proven to be the Class 8 truck of choice in the industry,” she said. “We’re proud to be once again raising the bar.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Mack Trucks names Mack Masters Competition champs

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Team “#Rise For The Anthem” from Bruckner Truck Sales in Shreveport, Louisiana, was named champions of the 2019 Mack Masters Competition having successfully completed several rounds of challenges designed to evaluate their knowledge of Mack service systems and procedures. The team is, left to right, : Aaron Toomer, Ted Pfister, Joey Wardrip and Justin Malone. (Courtesy: MACK TRUCKS)

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Mack Trucks put its superheroes of service to the test in the third installment of the Mack Masters Competition, a biennial event designed to evaluate participants’ knowledge of Mack service systems and procedures.

Team “# Rise For The Anthem” from Bruckner Truck Sales in Shreveport, Louisiana, successfully completed several rounds of competition, including a comprehensive final challenge, to be crowned Mack Masters Champions.

Members of team “#Rise For The Anthem” are Aaron Toomer, Justin Malone, Ted Pfister and Joey Wardrip.

“Not all superheroes wear capes, but our service technicians proudly wear the Mack Bulldog on their uniforms and deliver the expert knowledge and service our customers require,” said Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks senior vice president, North American sales and marketing. “Congratulations to Aaron, Justin, Joey and Ted from team “#Rise For The Anthem” on taking their commitment to our customer to an even higher level.”

The 2019 Mack Masters Competition kicked off in November 2018 with early rounds of online challenges that tested competitors’ knowledge of Mack’s service procedures and related systems. A record number of entrants participated with about 2,000 individuals on more than 500 teams.

After competing in three rounds of online challenges, 10 teams of finalists were named, each representing one of Mack’s sales and service regions — Central, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and West for the U.S., plus Canada, Mexico, Peru, Latin America, and for the first time ever an apprentice team of individuals new to their job roles.

The finalists’ knowledge and skills were challenged with five hands-on stations designed to challenge each team with a specific service situation that had to be completed in just 30 minutes. Following the completion of a challenge, teams rotated to the next one until all five were completed.

Team results from all stations were tallied to determine the champion.

Other finalist teams were: “Trunnion City Masters” from M&K Truck Centers in Des Plains, Illinois; “Bergey’s Bulldogs” from Bergey’s Truck Centers, Souderton, Pennsylvania; “TranSource Titans” from TranSource Truck & Trailer Centers in Greensboro, North Carolina; “Mobile Fleet Service” from Mobile Fleet Service in Wenatchee, Washington; “Top Dogs” from Lounsbury Truck Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada; “Hermosillo” from Tractoremolques del Noroeste in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico; “Dream Team” from Mack Peru; and “Bulldogs United” from Salfa in Chile. The apprentice team, “Pac Coast One,” was from Pacific Coast Heavy Truck Group in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The Mack Masters Competition is organized and conducted by the Mack Trucks Academy, which is responsible for developing and implementing Mack service training and aftermarket support programs.

The academy is accredited by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) for Continuing Automotive Service Education (CASE).

 

 

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Kenworth T880S with 52-, 76-inch sleepers now available for order

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Both size sleepers provide excellent interior height clearance, enabling a driver or passenger up to 6-foot-4 to easily stand up between the seats. Pictured is the 76-inch mid-roof sleeper. (Courtesy: KENWORTH TRUCK CO.)

KIRKLAND, Wash. — The Kenworth T880S with a set-forward front axle is now available for order with Kenworth’s 52-inch and 76-inch mid-roof sleepers.

The T880S sleeper configurations are focused on heavy haul and severe highway applications where ruggedness is especially required.

The two sleeper options enable the T880S to meet both overall combination length and weight distribution needs, and are applicable for both Canadian and U.S. markets, according to Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director.

Kenworth’s 76-inch mid-roof sleeper can be ordered with either the optional back wall storage system or folding upper bunk.

The optional Kenworth Idle Management System provides a factory-installed, battery-based auxiliary power unit (APU). A premium sound system and flat screen TV mount are among other options that provide further driver comfort and satisfaction.

The Kenworth 52-inch mid-roof sleeper is a welcome sanctuary when the schedule requires a short layover. The sleeper features a liftable lower bunk and upper storage units on the sleeper’s back wall, including hanging storage for clothes and jackets. A bunk heater, flat screen TV, premium sound system and factory-installed inverter with optional shore power are available for additional comfort. The many driver comfort amenities help give the Kenworth T680’s 52-inch mid-size sleeper the feel of a larger sleeper.

Swihart said both sleepers provide excellent interior height clearance, enabling a driver or passenger up to 6-foot-4 to easily stand up between the seats. Specifying the 180-degree optional passenger swivel seat further expands the living space and enables the driver to use both the cab and the sleeper as a comfortable space for relaxation – when not driving.

“Our high-quality sleeper options for the T880S provides customers with an additional opportunity for enhanced driver comfort in their efforts for cost-effective operations and increased driver retention and recruitment,” Swihart said.

The T880S is offered with a set-forward front axle ranging from 14,600 pounds to 22,800 pounds, and is standard with the PACCAR MX-13 engine with up to 510 hp and 1,850 lb-ft of torque. For weight-sensitive applications, the 10.8-liter PACCAR MX-11 engine is 400 pounds lighter than larger displacement engines, and provides up to 430-hp and 1,650 lb-ft of torque.

For more information, visit www.kenworth.com

 

 

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Lippert Components introduces somnum Sleeper Series pillows for long-haul drivers

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The machine washable somnum Sleeper Series pillows are made with hypoallergenic down-alternative fill, and the covers are 100% cotton, 350 thread count and double stitched to increase the lifespan of the pillow. (Courtesy: LIPPERT COMPONENTS)

ELKHART, Ind. — Lippert Components (LCI), a supplier of highly engineered components to the mobile and leisure transportation industries, has introduced somnum Sleeper Series pillows for long-haul, heavy truck drivers.

These machine washable pillows are made with hypoallergenic down-alternative fill, and the covers are 100% cotton, 350 thread count and double stitched to increase the lifespan of the pillow.

Designed to endure the ever-fluctuating temperatures and persistent moisture commonly found in sleeper environments, somnum premium pillows provide the perfect balance of support and comfort for a good night’s sleep, helping increase driver alertness while on the road, according to Mike Padrnos, business development manager at LCI.

Featuring both soft and firm options, the pillows come in two sizes, jumbo and king.

In addition to their premium comfort level, the somnum Sleeper Series pillows are 100% machine-washable, making it easier for them to retain their original freshness and shape, Padrnos

“A key purpose of a pillow is to keep your neck comfortably and safely aligned with your spine,” he said. “Having a great pillow contributes to a good night’s sleep when you’re at home. That being said, pillow quality is just as important for truck drivers who travel long hours and sleep in their trucks.”

Padrnos that while alignment is important, LCI had also paid special attention to personal comfort by ensuring that the somnum Sleeper Series features a variety of different pillow options.

“Everyone has their own personal preferences, so we created both soft and firm pillow options,” he said.

Padrnos said that in the fall of 2018, Donna Mooney, vice president of human resources at Titan Transfer, a freight carrier company, sought to find a “different and unique” gift for the company’s 400-plus trucks and corresponding drivers for National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

“We tried all the typical items: polo shirts, hats, gift cards, etc. I spent quite a bit of time online, shopping to find just the right gift,” Mooney said. “The somnum pillow caught my interest. The pillows ended up being a tremendous hit with our drivers, so much so that we had several drivers order additional pillows for their residential homes.”

“We’ve heard that truck drivers love somnum pillows from direct feedback at truck shows and from fleets like Titan Transfer that have introduced them to their drivers through their company stores or given them out as driver gifts. A new pillow is a small but meaningful upgrade to a Class 8 sleeper berth,” Padrnos said. “Fleets that are using somnum pillows as part of their driver incentive/reward programs are receiving gratitude from drivers for such a thoughtful gesture. Realistically, many people aren’t replacing their pillows nearly enough.”

For more information about somnum Sleeper Series pillows and how they can be purchased for your driver appreciation program, email somnum.info@lci1.com.

For more information, contact mpadrnos@lci1.com

 

 

 

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