Walmart Designs Tractor Trailer of the Future

Walmart Designs Tractor Trailer of the Future

The WAVE concept can run on a number of different fuels.

When I see Walmart in the news, it's usually a story related to stock prices, or how the retail giant is currently warring against some faction of its employees or customers. Not this time, however, as Walmart is giving us a glimpse into the future of product transport.

The WAVE, or Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience concept, is Walmart's big rig of the future. Along with having thousands of stores around the world, Walmart also has a fleet of over 6,500 tractor trailers. So how would a retail giant go about updating it's massive fleet? By bringing R&D in-house.

"We're just beginning formal testing, but this [WAVE] concept truck will be 20 percent more aerodynamic than our current trucks," said Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. "[The WAVE will] have a micro-turbine hybrid powertrain that can run on diesel, natural gas, biodiesel and probably other fuels still to be developed." McMillion stresses that the WAVE is a concept, so there's a good chance it will never go into production, but it should give Walmart some new ideas and practices related to sustainability.

Along with an advanced hybrid powerplant, the trailer on the WAVE is made almost completely from carbon fiber, which shaves about 4,000 pounds off the total weight when compared to the tractor trailers of today. The design and materials, coupled with a pretty slick-looking center-seat cabin (LCD screens everywhere!) makes this a big rig straight out of Total Recall.

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I actually kinda like this design. Center mounted seats have always been a good idea to me.

Expect Google to counter this in a few weeks with a truck that drives itself.

Mouse_Crouse:
I actually kinda like this design. Center mounted seats have always been a good idea to me.

Did you pick that avatar specifically for this message?

OT: A 53' single sheet of carbon fibre? This is Walmart people.. the fact that they're even considering the cost-to-weight ratio of that being a possible benefit makes me suddenly worry that peak-oil/gas is a lot closer than we thought.

My favourite part is when she said the "micro turbine" was a "micro turban".

Kwil:

Mouse_Crouse:
I actually kinda like this design. Center mounted seats have always been a good idea to me.

Did you pick that avatar specifically for this message?

OT: A 53' single sheet of carbon fibre? This is Walmart people.. the fact that they're even considering the cost-to-weight ratio of that being a possible benefit makes me suddenly worry that peak-oil/gas is a lot closer than we thought.

Peak oil was reached in 2005, that's when production reached it's peak and it has been flat since.

This certainly looks familiar...

Kwil:

Mouse_Crouse:
I actually kinda like this design. Center mounted seats have always been a good idea to me.

Did you pick that avatar specifically for this message

lol, no I've had it for years.

But back on topic my brother in law is a truck driver, wonder what his thoughts are. Seems like good design, but if I remember correctly they had to change the laws in Britian to make the McLaren with it's famous center seat... wonder if that's the case here too.

Have to admit that does look pretty good, though I question the point of it all if there is no plan put them into production and use. Perhaps they hope to sell the rights to a manufacturer?

Shaves 2 tons off the fixed weight and is more aerodynamic?
Nice.

You also have to drive all alone in that space ship cockpit.

Mouse_Crouse:
I actually kinda like this design. Center mounted seats have always been a good idea to me.

Depends, driving wise it'd be nice, but it could be iffy in some cases. Such as if you're training a new driver, have a... partner (can't remember if there's a specific word for it) because if they do, they need to be in the passenger seat.

As a person who's been around truck drivers, I have to say that what little I've seen of the interior is going to cause it to be a turn off, because there doesn't seem to be a lot of space to put things, especially reachable foodstuff while driving.

Kumagawa Misogi:

Kwil:

Mouse_Crouse:
I actually kinda like this design. Center mounted seats have always been a good idea to me.

Did you pick that avatar specifically for this message?

OT: A 53' single sheet of carbon fibre? This is Walmart people.. the fact that they're even considering the cost-to-weight ratio of that being a possible benefit makes me suddenly worry that peak-oil/gas is a lot closer than we thought.

Peak oil was reached in 2005, that's when production reached it's peak and it has been flat since.

Not exactly, we are the "bumpy plateau" stage at the moment. As new sources are desperately recovered and demand fluctuates the production vs consumption graph bounces around.

As for the truck itself, it looks quite good. I have always though trucks should be a diesel electric hybrid like trains, its simply more efficient once a vehicle gets bigger than a small truck. The micro turbine is also interesting, if they have managed to make it small enough to keep the fuel consumption down but provide enough power for he electric motors that might be something cars could even benefit from.

Nice try optimus prime, I see through your disguise

image

but really, this is pretty cool, nothing bad about creating some competition in truck design.

hazydawn:
You also have to drive all alone in that space ship cockpit.

Not really. It looks like the cabin is tall enough to support tandem seating similar to what you find in fighter jets

This actually looks very nice. Anything that makes the person who has to pay attention for 8 hours sitting still more confortable is a godo thing in my book. And the aerodynamics and fuel consumtion changes with this will help enviroment a lot since trucks do produce a lot of waste jsut pulling their own weight.

What big truck drivers REALLY need is the training to learn how to properly BACK UP. Many do not, and even less care, but this is an important and NECESSARY skill to have in the profession involved. To not have it is a danger to everybody.

This looks very cool, but money says that Walmart will never implement those because they're too cheap for upgrades. That said, I want to see this happen.

 

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