UD projects innovation focus on the coming decade


“Fujin & Raijin. Vision 2030.” to be its three-pronged attack on the next decade

UD projects innovation focus on the coming decade
UD Quons in a public road platooning exercise in Japan

 

UD Trucks has lifted the lid on a strategy for the next decade, centred on ‘automation’, ‘electro-mobility’ and ‘connectivity and digitalisation’.

Dubbed "Fujin & Raijin. Vision 2030", it is described as an innovation roadmap which aims to deliver a variety of solutions for smart logistics, including fully-electric and autonomous trucks towards 2030.

The roadmap focuses on the key areas of automation and electro-mobility to address the challenges of a rapidly-changing world.

"True to UD Trucks’ vision to provide the trucks the world needs today, the innovation roadmap takes a step-by-step approach together with customers to offer commercialised solutions for select automation and electro-mobility applications from 2020,with a view toward full-fledged commercialisation by 2030," the manufacturer says.

"By 2030, demand for parcel delivery is expected to grow 50 per cent compared to 2014.

"To meet this demand, the logistics industry faces significant challenges, including a responsibility to reduce CO2 emissions, the growing scale of online commerce, and driver shortages."

UD believes that transformative innovations in automation and electro-mobility are key to overcoming these challenges and providing customers with the trucks that fit their needs.

"When delivering on our promise to provide the trucks and services the world needs today, we have always done things a bit differently from others in our industry," UD Trucks chairman Joachim Rosenberg says during the roadmap’s announcement at the Embassy of Sweden in Tokyo this week.

"As we now look forward, we are convinced that the world needs Smart Logistics."

UD Trucks says it takes inspiration for their innovation roadmap from the gods of wind and thunder, as depicted in a famous gold-embossed Japanese folding screen, named "Fujin and Raijin."

Its progress in automation is inspired by Fujin, the god of wind, who symbolises the power of movement, while its work in electro-mobility is inspired by Raijin, the god of thunder, who symbolises the power of energy.

Thus, it aims to develop smarter logistics solutions in these key areas, enabled by advances in connectivity and digitalisation.

Automation

UD is now focusing on solutions for safe, low-speed automation in confined areas, including in-plant and harbor logistics. It is also exploring on-road Highway Auto Pilot and Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) platooning technologies in the near term, and more highly-automated on-road vehicles in the long term.

Electro-mobility

With a view to reducing the environmental impact of its products, UD Trucks is now developing technologies to create silent, zero-emission vehicles that maximise energy efficiency, payload capacity and mileage.

As battery systems continue to evolve, UD says it is testing a variety of solutions, including battery EV, parallel hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and Series HEV drivetrains.

 Connectivity and Digitalisation

UD sees connectivity through digitalisation as the enabler of both automation and electro-mobility.

In Japan, it has about 45,000 vehicles connected through the UD Information Service, which uses data collected from each vehicle to help improve uptime.

By analysing digital data collected from customer driving behaviour, is says it gains insight on how to design even safer and more dependable trucks.

"Since the launch of the New Quon in 2017, UD Trucks has moved steadily forward on its mission to drive the future of smart logistics. This new innovation roadmap represents a major leap forward for both the company, the logistics industry, and our society," UD Trucks Technology senior vice president Douglas Nakano says.

"We are committed to ensuring that our customers around the world feel the full benefits of the solutions and products we are developing, which will ultimately make life better for everyone in our society."

Over the course of this year, UD plans to conduct demonstrations of autonomous driving and electric-drive prototypes, targeting field tests and customer trials ahead of Tokyo Motor Show 2019.

It aims to have vehicles in daily operation by the year 2020.

All activities will be conducted with a view toward full-fledged commercialisation of fully-electric and autonomous trucks by 2030.

  

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