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New truck-trailer design makes Transformers a reality
Europe | Gothenburg

New truck-trailer design makes Transformers a reality

30 Jun 2017

IRU and Volvo unveil innovative truck-trailer prototypes that physically transform to transport more while using less energy.

IRU Projects and Volvo Technology Group unveiled two prototype vehicles in Sweden today, at a final event for “Transformers” – a four-year long project to create a tailored goods transport solution with more loading space, which uses less energy.

Project partners developed three innovative concepts which were built into both prototypes: 

  • a hybrid on demand trailer to improve energy and operational efficiency; 
  • a load optimisation trailer with a multi-section double floor system; 
  • aerodynamic features including movable roofs with sensors that allow the driver to raise or lower the roof to best suit the load while reducing air resistance.

Funded by the EU’s 7th Research framework programme and contributions from partners, Transformers resulted in a holistic transport solution, which offers mission adaptability to provide carriers the flexibility they need. Concrete actions will now be undertaken by several partners to gradually bring these concepts to market.

Paul Adams, Project Coordinator, Volvo Technology Group, said: “This unique project shows that we can make significant improvements to road transport efficiency by looking at the complete vehicle. This is also a good example of what can be achieved when the industry comes together and works on a project with public funding.”

Marc Billiet, Head of EU Goods Transport, IRU, said: 
“We can achieve much more working together, rather than individually. Joint integrated efforts will give us the best solutions to meet the ambitious challenges ahead in the transport sector." 

Zeljko Jeftic, Head of Global Innovation, said:  “Transformers has created interesting and useful concepts which can eventually be taken to market. It is key for IRU to collaborate with the industry in bringing forward innovations that have the end-user in mind. We are committed to working with all transport stakeholders to help create future cost-effective solutions.”