Ford Trucks Unveils Self-Driving Electric Truck and Scoops Up International Truck of the Year
It’s a big time for Ford Trucks. The Michigan-based OEM unveiled a new concept for a self-driving electric semi truck last week. Ford’s F-Vision “Future Truck” concept is a self-driving electric tractor built to show that Ford Trucks is thinking about the future of the commercial trucking industry.
Ford Otosan, based in Turkey and the OEM’s largest commercial vehicles production base, debuted the F-Vision at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Germany. This is the company’s first concept truck and focuses on a futuristic design involving lightweight construction, zero emissions, an “interactive front end” which can display different designs and communication methods, and technology chock full of innovation. Perhaps the most impressive is its level 4 autonomous driving feature and platoon function with other trucks. When the F-Vision is operating in self-driving mode, the windshield glass line blends back into the bodywork to echo the streamlined shape of the truck. The goal, says Ford, is for the truck to do the driving most of the time.
The design of the F-Vision also boasts cameras instead of rearview and side mirrors. There’s Internet connectivity and automatically tinting windows in the colors of the body. In short, the F-Vision is competition; competition for heavy-duty electric designs like the Tesla Semi and Volvo’s recently released Vera. Ford Trucks’ F-vision is merely a concept for now with no technical information available that this time.
But Ford Trucks’ F-Vision was not their only truck featured at the IAA Commercial Show. The concept truck was actually shown during a presentation that also revealed the new 2019 Ford F-MAX tractor trailer. The F-MAX was awarded the 2019 International Truck of the Year award and is the first time in 36 years that Ford Trucks has won the coveted title. The F-MAX, which draws inspiration for its name from the F-Series trucks, underwent a rigorous assessment covering key criteria such as technological innovation, comfort, safety, drivability, fuel economy, environmental footprint and total cost of ownership.
“After successfully completing 5 million kilometers of road tests in 11 countries on four continents, the F-MAX will set a new benchmark in the international transport industry,” said Haydar Yenigün, Ford Otosan general manager. This Turkish-built “cab-over” design truck will launch in European markets, as environmentally friendly heavy-duty commercial trucks are in higher demand in those locations. Continued testing and implementation worldwide by OEMs like Ford Trucks and Volvo Trucks will act as a push for North American markets to become more environmentally friendly in large-scale ways.