Mainline unmanned truck design project

Mainline unmanned truck design project

The relevance of cargo transportations is growing. Modern consumer society demands high-speed delivery of cargoes to any size and weight.

Road freight transportation is the optimal combination of price, quality, and speed of delivery at short distances: the supply of goods to the city’s retail outlets, delivery of cargoes from city to city, and transportation of expensive cargoes. And so far there is no better alternative to road transport

Unmanned transport — make it better

The main cost items in cargo transportation are fuel and the driver’s salary. Unmanned vehicles will reduce the cost of delivery due to a reduced salary cost. And electric energy carrier should make the vehicle more environmentally friendly.

The development of unmanned electric vehicles is one of the technological trends.

According to estimates by Morgan Stanley Bank, freight costs will be reduced by $70 billion annually. productivity will increase by a third as trucks will run 24/7. The transition to robot trucks will save the $300B

Our concept

New unmanned vehicles should be well recognizable and stand out on the road. The main idea — change the usual layout of truck tractors and semi-trailers based on electric unmanned cars. The conceptually new saddle-coupling device will allow departing from the usual image of a mainline tractor.

The idea of ​a front trolley with one axle and a cab as a tractor, the attachment of a trailer, which had two and sometimes three axles, is not new. But nowadays this idea is little-used.

Сurrently many concepts of unmanned electric tractors are based on the usual diesel trucks. But, if the cabin will be removed, there remains an empty unused space and not an aerodynamic trailer.

Due to this design, the turning, sharp turning radii and the bevels are reduced.

There are no world analogues of this unmanned system. So, this project can be called conceptual

The vitality of the idea

The concept takes into account the size of usual tractors and semi-trailers but in the new shaping.

Why does it look like this?

The appearance of the concept reflects the trends in car design: “conciseness, simplicity and functionality”. We are pursuing the achievement of purity of perception of the image.

The concept style uses simple geometric shapes that maximize the use of useful volume

The semi-trailer attached to the tractor is an elongated, not aerodynamic, but extremely functional rectangle. Leaving this shape is functionally inefficient. We sought to reduce excess mass in transport and avoid the cost of creating fairings to achieve the best aerodynamics.

The project also includes the following “features”:
– On the sides are the headlights, running lights from four thin strips on each side.
– At the rear, access to the loading area is blocked by flexible screens, which project the image from the front cameras, as well as the speed of the unmanned truck. During loading, the screens are minimized.
– When the truck does not move, all protruding elements are hidden (vandal-proof).

The concept assumes minimal contact with a human, only during service maintenance. Extendable mechanisms have been designed for access to internal devices, batteries, a reserve diesel generator with a tank on both sides.

As a result

The concept combines functionality, innovation, and design. And external elements are completing the image of a modern electric vehicle.

The objectives of this concept were: immersion in the topic of unmanned transport, as well as identifying trends in the industry.

Many elements of this concept can be transferred to the development of serial trucks.

The renders in the environment

If you have any questions regarding our project — do not hesitate us contact us via


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Images: Valery Martynenko
Text: Verdesta team

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