News roundup, Oct. 29: New regional Volvo tractor, pay-as-you-drive leasing program from Daimler, more

The following trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, include announcements made at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta, ongoing through Thursday:

Volvo’s new VNR 660 regional tractor.Volvo’s new VNR 660 regional tractor.

Volvo debuts new VNR model
Volvo introduced a new model to its regional VNR lineup with the new Volvo VNR 660. The new truck features a 164-inch bumper to back-of-cab length, offering 400 pounds weight savings from decreasing the overall size of the truck.

The new truck model, which enters limited production in March, comes standard with the Volvo D11 engine, the Volvo I-Shift transmission and Volvo Active Driver Assist (VADA) 2.0, the recently updated comprehensive collision mitigation system.

Daimler Truck Financial to offer pay-as-you-drive leasing program
Daimler Truck Financial, the financial arm of Daimler Trucks North America, announced it will begin offering pay-as-you-drive financing on Freightliner Cascadias spec’d with Detroit engines beginning in early 2020. The new Dynamic Lease program uses embedded telematics data from the Detroit Connect platform to track truck mileage and allow truck operators to align truck lease rates to actual utilization.

The program is based on standard 48- to 60-month lease programs and consists of a minimum monthly base payment as well as a variable payment based on miles driven. The program will be available exclusively to U.S. customers at launch, but DTF said it plans to roll it out to Canadian customers at a later date.

Kenworth, Peterbilt adding Bendix Fusion features to select models, launching OTA updates for some MX-equipped trucks
Kenworth and Peterbilt each announced the addition of enhanced capabilities and new features for the next generation Bendix Wingman Fusion collision-mitigation system. The system comes standard on Peterbilt’s Model 579 and the Kenworth T680.

New collision mitigation features include Highway Departure Braking, which provides an audible alert to the driver and, if necessary, applies the foundation brakes to reduce vehicle speed up to 20 miles per hour if the system determines the vehicle left the roadway unintentionally.

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Multi-Lane Emergency Braking helps the driver mitigate both the first, and potentially second, crash situation when more than one highway lane is blocked. Once a collision mitigation braking event begins and the driver steers into an adjacent lane to avoid the forward vehicle, the new Multi-lane AEB feature continues to apply the brakes – if needed – when it detects another forward vehicle blocking the path in the new traffic lane.

The two companies also plan to launch over-the-air (OTA) updates for trucks equipped with 2017 or later MX-13 and MX-11 engines. The updates will allow customers to remotely install engine and aftertreatment software,

The company showcased a prototype electric version of its MV Series medium-duty truck at NACV.The company showcased a prototype electric version of its MV Series medium-duty truck at NACV.

Navistar set to launch electric-focused business
Navistar is launching a new business unit that will focus on electric trucks and buses. The goal of International’s NEXT eMobility Solutions, Navistar Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Persio Lisboa said, is to answer some of the uncertainty surrounding the deployment of electric trucks. 

Using NEXT as a springboard for implementation, Navistar plans to introduce International medium-duty electric trucks in early 2021.

International boosting aero packages for 2020 truck models
International’s LT and RH Series trucks will see aerodynamic, powertrain and software upgrades that can increase fuel efficiency up to 8.2% in LT Series when comparing a fully equipped 2020 model to a unit built just one year earlier.

Aerodynamic advances offered for 2020 include an enhanced roof fairing; day cab extenders that are 12 inches longer, closing the tractor-trailer gap; sleeper cab extenders that are three inches longer, reducing the tractor-trailer gap; steering wheel closeouts around the front tires; longer damage resistant chassis skirt Vidon strips; new cab-to-skirt closeouts to further reduce wind drag; 1-inch lower bumper valance and Flow Below 2.0 design, optimized for the International LT Series.

Great Dane intros new smart trailer system
Great Dane’s new integrated smart trailer telematics system, FleetPulse, offers a high-resolution look at the condition of trailer components, and pairs that information with other proprietary information about the asset, including specs, aftermarket parts numbers, and tools from all of the component suppliers.

FleetPulse, part of a monitoring chain with GROTE’s Guardian and Wabco’s ABS, features built-in sensors that collect precise measurements directly from the trailer’s components and monitor key indicators like tire inflation systems, open doors, cargo weight, burned-out lights, ABS fault codes and mileage.

Wabco launches Intelligent Anti-Lock Braking System for trailers
Wabco’s Intelligent Anti-Lock Braking System (iABS) optimizes trailer control during emergency braking by preventing the trailer’s wheels from locking and slipping.

Wabco Americas President Jon Morrison added iABS combines with additional sensors to become the trailer’s “brain, resulting in increased operational effectiveness, improved safety and driver comfort,” he said. “The iABS focuses on making the trailer smarter and allowing, for the first time, the activation of up to 20 functions of Wabco’s Intelligent Trailer Program, such as Lift Axle Control, Door Ajar or Axle Load Monitoring, among others.”

Continental’s new regional steer tire, the Conti HSR 3.Continental’s new regional steer tire, the Conti HSR 3.

Continental rolls out new regional steer tire, trailer TPMS system
The Conti HSR 3, the company’s newest steer tire, will replace the HSR2 in the regional steer line and deliver higher mileage than its predecessor. The Conti HSR 3 is built on the Conti 3G, third-generation, casing for improved durability, scrub resistance and retreadability and features an enhanced belt package versus the HSR2. Built for increased stiffness, HSR 3 reduces heat build-up for improved wear and longer mileage, also extending the casing life for enhanced retreadability.

Continental also showcased its newest tire monitoring solution – ContiPressureCheck Solo, a trailer TPMS system. The system notifies the driver of tire pressure issues in real time while keeping the trailer system separate from the tractor.