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Walmart Designs Tractor Trailer of the Future

| 4 Mar 2014 18:10

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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