Peterbilt rolls out its SuperTruck 2, autonomous truck at ATA MCE
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Peterbilt rolls out its SuperTruck 2, autonomous truck at ATA MCE

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Jason Morgan is the content director of Fleet Equipment.

Peterbilt Motors Co. showcased its advanced technology vehicles at the American Trucking Association’s (ATA) Management Conference and Exhibition (MCE) show in San Diego, Calif. It was the first time Peterbilt’s new SuperTruck II demonstrator vehicle has been seen publicly.

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SuperTruck II features a unique aerodynamic shape with a center drive position that improves overall visibility, a right-hand entry stand-up door, pop-out windows, cameras in place of mirrors and custom tires and wheels, the OEM noted. Other features include a mild hybrid powertrain, a waste heat recovery system and a lightweight chassis for improved fuel economy. The split-level integral cab and sleeper features a large, wrap-around dash, 15-in. digital dash display for virtual gauges and critical vehicle data, an additional display for HVAC, infotainment and navigation controls, an articulated seat that rotates left and right and a pull-out desk.

The goal of the SuperTruck II program, initiated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is to improve long-haul Class 8 vehicle freight efficiency. The program focuses on advanced and highly efficient powertrain systems and vehicle technologies that meet prevailing emissions and Class 8 tractor-trailer vehicle safety and regulatory requirements. In addition to the benefits of reduced fuel consumption and petroleum usage, the improvements in engine system efficiency will deliver a significant reduction in GHG emissions.

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Another eye-catching truck in Peterbilt’s booth was the Peterbilt Model 579 equipped with the L4 advanced autonomous Aurora Driver. Aurora is testing and validating the fourth Beta software generation of the Aurora Driver with customers in Texas. Aurora’s next-generation sensor suite features high-resolution custom cameras with nearly 360-degree field of view, FirstLight lidar that can track and measure the velocity of moving objects and imaging radar that provides full coverage in challenging weather conditions. The company continues to refine its hardware kit for commercialization.

Rounding out Peterbilt’s ATA display is the battery-electric Model 579EV, delivering zero-emissions performance for regional haul, drayage, pickup and delivery and last mile operations. The 579EV features a battery-electric drive system with a 150-mile range that can be recharged in as little as three hours. Peterbilt fields a wide lineup of electric vehicles, with three configurations available for regional haul, pickup and delivery and refuse applications, providing services and support for customers adding EVs to their fleets, including a dedicated team to help identify the best configuration for their operations, locate available incentives and choose from the wide selection of PACCAR chargers and infrastructure solutions.

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