Automotive

Attention, Walmart shoppers: We've created a futuristic transport truck

Attention, Walmart shoppers: W...
The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience, on the road
The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience, on the road
View 2 Images
The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience, on the road
1/2
The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience, on the road
The aerodynamic cab of the tractor unit features a sliding door, a center-mounted driver's seat, an all-LCD dash that can be customized to suit the driver's preferences, and a full-sized sleeper
2/2
The aerodynamic cab of the tractor unit features a sliding door, a center-mounted driver's seat, an all-LCD dash that can be customized to suit the driver's preferences, and a full-sized sleeper

According to a report in Truck News, Walmart plans on doubling the fuel efficiency of its trucking fleet by next year. In order to show that it's not kidding around, the retailer has collaborated with Peterbilt, Great Dane Trailers, and Capstone Turbine to create a concept "truck of tomorrow" known as the Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience – or WAVE.

The vehicle features what Walmart describes as a "prototype advanced turbine-powered, range-extending series hybrid powertrain (or microturbine-hybrid powertrain) combined with an electric motor and battery storage system." It can reportedly run on diesel, natural gas, biodiesel "and probably other fuels still to be developed."

Additionally, it is said to be 20 percent more aerodynamic than the company's existing trucks.

The aerodynamic cab of the tractor unit features a sliding door, a center-mounted driver's seat, an all-LCD dash that can be customized to suit the driver's preferences, and a full-sized sleeper
The aerodynamic cab of the tractor unit features a sliding door, a center-mounted driver's seat, an all-LCD dash that can be customized to suit the driver's preferences, and a full-sized sleeper

The cab of the tractor unit features a sliding door, a center-mounted driver's seat, an all-LCD dash that can be customized to suit the driver's preferences, and a full-sized sleeper.

The trailer is reportedly the first one to ever be built completely of carbon fiber, and also incorporates the first 53-foot-long (16 m) one-piece carbon fiber panels ever made. The use of that material results in claimed weight savings of approximately 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) over a conventional trailer. Both its aerodynamics and its cargo capacity are boosted by a convex nose that sits flush the concave backside of the tractor.

So, will we ever see one of the things on the highway? In a recent statement, Walmart President Doug McMillon wrote, "It may never make it to the road, but it will allow us to test new technologies and new approaches."

If you like freaky-looking high-concept transport trucks, however, be sure to also check out the German Innotruck – which actually looks a bit like WAVE.

More information on the Walmart truck is available in the video below.

Source: Walmart via Truck News, Green Car Reports

Introducing the Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience concept truck

19 comments
Joseph Boe
Looks like it was designed by these guys...http://www.gizmag.com/marchi-mobile-elemment-luxury-camper/20180/
Donald Scharfenorth
"Both its [the trailer] aerodynamics and its cargo capacity are boosted by a convex nose that sits flush [with] the concave backside of the tractor." Doesn't look flush to me. The curve of the convex front may match the concave fairing on the back of the cab, but there appears to be at least a foot, probably more, between the two.
Nairda
From an Aerodynamic point this is good You don't have to waste money cutting weight. It is preferable to have a heavy head for stability in high cross winds. Also a truck is an ideal platform for a serial diesel electric like a loco. Fill the base with batteries for stability and capacity.
Clinton Wong
It makes sense to use electric motors in vehicles for the logistics industry because electric motors have high torque which is better suited for moving weight. Not to mention the reduced amount of energy loss in comparison to combustion engines.
Steve Dahlheimer
Yeah I was going to say it looks Luigi Colani inspired.
thatBeatsguy
Wow...I wonder if I might be able to see one on the highway?
Rob.
Is anyone else thinking 'condorman'
Gadgeteer
Now all they have to do is make it nuclear powered. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/49/Big_Bus_Cyclops_1.jpg
Mzungu_Mkubwa
It's great to see more implementation of the microturbine-hybrid powertrain concept. This has a bunch of advantages over an ICE (piston-driven) hybrid type, and I'm frankly surprised it hasn't really taken off in the automotive or "logistics" (trucking) industries. Multiple fuels capable, minimal moving parts, very high MTBF, lightweight (for the engine side, anyway), and great marketing possibilities (e.g. "Yeah, mine's powered by a turbine engine! Dude!") So, what's the holdup?
Dekarate
weight and fuel savings vs cost of 53 foot carbon fiber panel, aeroshell, etc. where are the trade results?