It very rare we get a chance to talk to those people at the very top of the truck manufacturing game, but when we do we can see just where the trucks of the future are going to go. This time it’s a chance for the President of the International Truck of the Year Jury, Gianenrico Griffini to intgerview Andreas Tostmann ,CEO of MAN.
The truck industry is at one of those tipping points where we know things are going to change drastically, but we don’t know how, or when. The global climate crisis is forcing fundamental changes in the way we design and build trucks.
At the same time the level of electronic and computing engineering control in trucks is multiplying exponentially. Artificial intelligence is also coming into truck systems.
The possibilities are endless and the end result is not clear. The implications for our trucking industry in Australia are also not at all clear. Change is happening fast in Europe and North America, but there is no legislative change on the horizon here, due to deadlock in Canberra.
What we do know is the world is going to change and the technology we have depended on for over 100 years, is going to become obsolete. These global truck manufacturing giants are not going to develop new diesel engines because all of their development dollars are being poured into new technologies around electric power and hydrogen fuel cells.
Those hanging on to the idea of a combustion engine, may be able to continue to use the technology, but it won’t be using diesel, it will probably use hydrogen, as a fuel.
Look out for an upcoming edition of PowerTorque with a hands-on test drive of a hydrogen internal combustion engine, from DAF.
For the moment, Andreas lays out how the future is looking from the top end of town, we just have to work out how long it will be before these changes hit our shores.