Diesel-electric Innotruck rolls into Hannover Messe

“Diesel Reloaded” research vehicle demonstrates radical, holistic approach to electromobility.

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by Design Engineering Staff

Hanover, Germany — At Hannover Messe next week, a research group from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen will show off its Innotruck, a diesel-electric tractor-trailer that serves as both a research testbed and a demonstration vehicle.

The space-age looking 18-wheeler is part of a research project called Diesel Reloaded, which aims to demonstrate how paradigm shifts in automotive, energy, and information technologies can help to address major societal trends and needs.

Led by Prof. Dr. Gernot Spiegelberg — who heads Siemens Corporate Technology’s electromobility initiatives — Diesel Reloaded researchers envision the vehicle as both a small-scale “smart grid” and as a way to stabilize regional-scale energy networks that will rely increasingly on fluctuating input from renewable sources.

In addition, the Innotruck incorporates displays and controls that adapt to the driver’s capabilities and typical behavior, as well as changing conditions such as traffic and the driver’s alertness.

Further, the vehicle functions as an integrated information and communication system. With centralized computing and plug-and-play applications, the vehicle’s system architecture allows for car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communications to help optimize traffic flow and safety. According to Spiegelberg, the team’s research addresses, “the megatrends of environmental care, urbanization, and demographics.”