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Daimler's Concept of Future Semi-Truck Technology

There's been a lot of talk recently about driver-less cars and semi-trucks hitting the road in the not-too-distant future. That technology, while interesting, is still a long-way off. Regardless of the advances in the software piloting these vehicles, skeptics are apprehensive about removing rational, human drivers from America's roadways. With that in mind, the semi-truck technology being developed for the near-future is designed for driver comfort as well as efficiency.

One semi-truck under development that has some truckers giddy with anticipation is Daimler's new concept truck: the Super Truck. Currently, the Super Truck is in year two of a five-year research and development stretch funded by a $40 million dollar grant from the US Department of Energy. The development's focus is on improving fuel and freight efficiency among class 8 trucks.

The Super Truck is able to increase fuel efficiency by changing the aerodynamics of the cab, an intelligent powertrain, and predictive software that helps control the vehicle's speed via GPS and digital maps. The Super Truck even comes equipped with solar panels to power the rig's AC, meaning drivers won't have to sacrifice fuel economy for comfort as they drive through hotter climates.

The AC isn't the only part of the Super Truck where they took driver comfort under serious consideration. The interior and exterior of the truck are beautiful. The sleeper model employs carbon fiber cabinets, innovative mattress construction and all materials were selected to minimize weight and maximize efficiency. The cab includes a bunk that folds up to reveal a desk that includes three seats, and a passenger chair that swivels 180-degrees.

With increased fuel and freight efficiency, as well as additional amenities and comfort, the Super Truck is a tough rig to beat.