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Mercedes-Benz Econic to feature active safety systems

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Effective this month, the Mercedes-Benz Econic will be equipped as standard with the assistance systems Active Brake Assist and Lane Keeping Assist, while adaptive cruise control will be available as an option. Active Brake Assist will initiate braking if necessary, thus potentially preventing rear-end collisions.
All this is available a full eight months before the legal deadline of November 2015. Lane Keeping Assist warns the driver if the vehicle appears to be drifting out of lane, while the adaptive cruise control system, already a familiar feature of passenger cars, controls the distance to the vehicle in front – for example in slow-moving traffic. The Econic has already previously been fitted with the Electronic Stability Program (ESP).
The next stage will involve the development of further safety systems which will be gradually introduced into series production over the period from 2015 to early 2017. The objective of this move is to prevent accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists, as well as accidents while moving off or manoeuvring during waste disposal operations.
Safety during municipal operations was a key factor even during the development of the Mercedes-Benz Econic. The low position of the cab, the large panoramic windscreen, the glazed co-driver’s door and a sophisticated mirror system are all safety features designed with the improvement of all-round visibility and the minimisation of blind spot areas in mind in particular.
The low floor concept, above all, means that the driver sits more or less at eye level with pedestrians and cyclists, thus helping to enhance the image of the Econic, especially as far as the residents of inner-city areas are concerned.
As well being a key factor in the protection of pedestrians and cyclists, safety also makes good business sense. The German Road Safety Council (Deutsche Verkehrssicherheitsrat) for instance, estimates the financial impact of traffic accidents in Germany alone to be around 25 billion euros each year. The driver, who may need to take time off as the result of an accident, must be replaced. A truck, coach or van standing in the workshop awaiting repair costs money, instead of earning money. The assistance systems do not therefore only contribute to improving safety, but also to increasing overall economic efficiency.
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Shell AdBlue, When Will It Come To Malaysia?

The world is changing for haulage operators. They now face stricter CO2 emissions legislation and a growing need to demonstrate their business’s environmental credentials.

AdBlue from Shell will make fleet maintenance easier as the stricter limits on pollutant levels introduced with Euro 6 emissions standards in Europe has been beneficial to truck, fleet and logistic operators.

Used together with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) converter, AdBlue has a significant impact on the level of nitrogen oxides (NOx) diesel emissions by converting the pollutant gases into harmless nitrogen and water.This innovative solution helps customers to cut harmful emissions levels and helps businesses to be on the front foot with their fleet.

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Tyre Pressure Monitoring To Reduce CO2

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) in England is searching for partners with whom to develop technology for heavy-duty vehicles that could alter tyre operating pressure to adapt to a range of surface and loading conditions, by inflating or deflating the tyre as appropriate.

The aim is to create a commercially viable rolling resistance optimisation system (RROS) that could change tyre pressures without the driver leaving the cab.

It could be deployed on any heavy land vehicle that uses pneumatic tyres – including road-based HGVs, buses and coaches, as well as agricultural tractors, articulated off-road trucks and wheel loaders.

If successful, the project could produce an up to eight per cent saving on CO2 across the UK heavy-duty vehicle land fleet by 2020, claims ETI.

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Iveco showcases new technologies

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Iveco, a brand of CNH Industrial, has demonstrated its expertise in research and development under its ‘Iveco Vision’ strategy, a program that sees the organisation investing heavily in new, cutting-edge technologies to meet the anticipated future demands that will be placed on commercial vehicles.

Iveco Vision is focused on providing low environmental impact mobility, an idea that is embodied in a new concept vehicle that features a range of innovative technologies and transport solutions. The concept stemmed from Iveco’s ‘Dual Energy’ technology featured in a chassis unveiled at the 2012 Hanover trade show, that demonstrated many new potential technologies that could be applied to light commercial vehicles of the future.

Iveco Vision builds on the Dual Energy system, a technology which uses two different power sources: electric and hybrid thermoelectric.The electric technology ensures zero exhaust emissions and low noise levels. The hybrid system is best for longer journeys, while still offering reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 25 per cent compared to conventional vehicles.

The Dual Energy platform uses a specific transfer unit that couples the electric motor with the transmission shafts, providing a hybrid solution that also functions as an adaptive traction system with real-time energy management.

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Based on road and traffic conditions, the vehicle selects the most suitable power source – hybrid mode provides greater speed and range on intercity routes, while the electric mode allows unrestricted, no-emission driving in metropolitan areas.As a natural evolution of the Dual Energy project, Iveco redesigned the vehicle’s frame, body, interior and user interface, resulting in Iveco Vision.Drivetrain aside, the project also focused on exploring three new technologies: a new adaptive Human/Machine Interface, an overall design element promoting total visibility and a new fully automatic load management system. In accomplishing its design objectives, the vehicle features a high integration tablet, which communicates with the on-board electronics.

For greater visibility, ample glazed surfaces and see-through front pillars guarantee unrestricted vision from the cabin – while the rear camera’s display is shown on a panoramic screen on top of the windshield. Capping off the design objectives is a load management system that uses a series of sensors to identify the load and then indicate the correct positioning of each parcel within the vehicle, triggering containment devices which prevent the movement of larger packages. Besides protecting the goods from damage, improved space management also makes loading and unloading faster, leading to obvious efficiency gains.

Iveco Vision is a test bed for the study and development of new technology and represents the natural evolution of Iveco’s light commercial vehicle range.

 

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UPS to build 15 new CNG fueling stations

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UPS has announced plans to build 15 compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations to support the purchase and planned deployment of 1,400 new CNG vehicles over the next year in the United States. Twelve of the CNG stations will be in new natural gas vehicle deployment areas, and three will replace existing CNG stations with more robust, higher capacity equipment.

This purchase represents a nearly 30% increase to UPS’s current industry-leading alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet of 5,088 vehicles worldwide. The CNG fueling stations and vehicle purchases are part of UPS’ ongoing commitment to diversify its fuel sources, implement a fleet infrastructure that can utilize lower carbon intensity fuel sources and increase experience using alternative fuels in freight transport applications.

“UPS’s investment in a large scale alternative energy fleet has enabled the company to avoid more than 34 million gallons of conventional fuels since 2000,” said Mitch Nichols, UPS senior vice president of transportation and engineering. “Today’s CNG announcement demonstrates UPS’s plans to expand use of widely available natural gas. CNG is an important building block in our long-term fleet strategy and offers environmental and economic advantages.”

When the deployments are completed, UPS anticipates its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet will log more than 350 million miles per year, supporting the company’s goal of driving one billion miles in this fleet by the end of 2017. This will displace approximately 54 million gallons of conventional diesel and gasoline annually while reducing total vehicle emissions.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the use of natural gas instead of gasoline cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 6-11 percent over the fuel life cycle. UPS plans to deploy new CNG vehicles in 15 cities in America, in Germany, the Netherlands and Thailand.

Using a “Rolling Laboratory” approach, UPS is one of the leaders in the industry developing the cleanest, most effective pathways to support the company’s effort to reduce emissions and dependence on fossil fuels while improving efficiency. The first package delivery company to introduce alternative fuel tractors into its fleet, UPS operates one of the largest private alternative fuel and advanced technology fleets in the U.S. Its fleet includes all-electric, hybrid electric, hydraulic hybrid, CNG, LNG, propane, biomethane and light-weight fuel-saving composite body vehicles.

 

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Scania and Swedfund invest in Indian biogas

The agreement between Swedfund and Scania was signed at today’s inauguration of Scania’s bus manufacturing facility in India by the companies’ chief executives Anna Ryott and Martin Lundstedt in the prescene of Sweden’s Minister of infrastructure , Anna Johansson and Shri. Nitin Gadkari, Honourable Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India

Scania and the development financier of the Swedish state Swedfund are establishing a partnership to develop the production of biogas as an automotive fuel in the Indian city of Nagpur, which is located in the state of Maharashtra and has 2.5 million inhabitants. The biogas will be produced from digested sludge from one of the city’s wastewater treatment plants in collaboration with local companies. Nagpur is participating in the Indian Government’s initiative to improve the environment and transport systems in the country’s 100 largest cities.

“This is a Swedish venture, which in a sustainable and profitable manner can create many new jobs and contribute to India’s shift towards renewable fuels. Biogas is the fuel of the future, which will contribute to solving India’s huge pollution problems while taking a comprehensive approach to the major environmental challenges,” says Swedfund’s CEO Anna Ryott. 

The plans for the biogas project were presented today in connection with the inauguration of Scania’s bus facility in Narasapura in Karnataka state. 

Today India occupies third place in terms of global carbon dioxide emissions, and these emissions are expected to double in the next few decades. In line with the country’s continued urbanisation, the quantity of waste produced in the cities is also increasing. 

“Scania has vehicles and technologies that can contribute to this shift, here and now. We see great opportunities for Sweden as a country to lead the development towards sustainable cities in the world in general and in India in particular. For this reason, we are extremely happy to be able to take this step together with Swedfund” says Scania’s President and CEO Martin Lundstedt. 

The Indian Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working actively to improve the environment and accessibility in 100 large cities in the country. The initiative is called Smart Cities. The Government is also approaching international companies that want to invest in technologies and systems that can promote the development of sustainable cities. 

Producing biogas from waste in major cities and residual products from agriculture represents an important part of the solution to India’s problems with air pollution, waste management and the cost of imported energy.   

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Scania Malaysia introduces 2-years free maintenance program

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Scania Malaysia has made it even more profitable to invest in a Scania with the introduction of two years free Scania Maintenance. This is in addition to the two years free Scania Assistance and ten years free Scania Fleet Management that already comes with Scania vehicles ordered today.

Scania Maintenance is part of a range of maintenance from Scania Contracted Services. It includes assistance call-out charges, travelling charges to/from the breakdown site, inspection for factory recommendation, lubricants, filters and labour for maintenance.

“Now it is free for every Scania Truck, Bus and coach chassis for two years (subject to mileage limit). That said, Scania vehicles are precision machines backed by over one hundred years of intelligent engineering tradition. So it makes sense to have a contract with Scania for all repair and maintenance needs,” said James Armstrong, Managing Director of Scania Southeast Asia.

“Our maintenance procedures are proactive to avoid time-consuming and costly problems from occurring to maximise our customers’ uptime and operating economy. They also give our customers predictable maintenance costs so that they can focus their Last year, Scania Malaysia launched a new Scania Assistance number 1800-08-8500 (+603 5590 9077 for international calls) with an improved call-centre system based on Scania global standards. It is an operator-based call-centre that operates 24/7, 365 days a year.

The improved call-centre system allows Scania to track and follow-up on the status of any customer’s case from start to completion; keeping the customer informed throughout the entire process. This allows the customer to plan and re-organise their fleet movements better in the event of a particular vehicle needing assistance.

Scania Malaysia also launched Scania Fleet Management last year, for customers to gain more control over their vehicles. It is a set of services that connects the vehicles with customers’ office through a communicator device. Scania customers will get vehicle data, fleet position and reviews of driving performance.

By just focusing on these details Scania customers can make informed decisions and take the necessary actions to increase the productivity of their fleet. Vehicle and driver performance can save up to 10% in fuel economy if Scania Fleet Management is used together with Scania Driver Support, Driver Training and Coaching services.

“At Scania, we continue to put our customers’ operations at the centre of the entire value chain. Scania’s wide range of quality products and services are constantly improving and optimised for our customers’ needs,” said James. “The addition of Scania Maintenance to Scania Assistance and Scania Fleet Management strengthens Scania’s total solutions to help our customer achieve the best profitability.”

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Volvo Fuelwatch Challenge is back

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The local edition of the Volvo Fuelwatch Challenge is back, marking the sixth time this signature annual event is organised. Volvo Trucks Malaysia said that a nationwide roadshow will go on from 9 April to 7 June 2015 to scout for the most fuel efficient and skilled truck driver in Malaysia.

A global initiative held annually, the Volvo Fuelwatch Challenge is missioned to educate drivers, fleet managers, customers and other stakeholders about the importance of good driving practices to improve fuel efficiency, reduce cost and increase profitability, as well as increasing awareness on safety.

Mats Nilsson, Managing Director, Volvo Malaysia said, “the Fuelwatch Challenge has become increasingly popular with more than 800 truck drivers taking part in last year’s competition. Held in a fun competition format, it supports and complements our ongoing Driver Development Programme which is designed to train and develop fully competent drivers on aspects of technical skills and safe driving behaviour.”

Comprising exercises on concepts such as truck optimization and maintenance, fuel efficient driving and safe driving behaviour, the Fuelwatch Challenge consists of a paper-based test at the preliminary rounds to be held at Volvo Trucks’ eight dealership locations across Malaysia. The winners will then convene for a real driving challenge at the semi-final and final rounds in Shah Alam to compete for the national championship title.

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Nilsson also said that both the Fuelwatch Challenge and the Driver Development Programme reflect on the company’s efforts and commitment in going beyond truck sales and services to shape a more robust trucking industry in Malaysia. Through these platforms that coach drivers on fuel economy and good driving behavior, Volvo aims to help companies reduce truck operating costs, accidents and environmental impact.

The preliminary rounds of the Fuelwatch Challenge in previous years were held at six of its 11 dealership locations nationwide and drivers were encouraged to pre-register to participate. This year, Volvo Trucks expect a higher number of driver participation as a result of increased interest over the years. With this in mind, two additional dealership locations – Ipoh and Kota Kinabalu – have been added to the preliminary round and which will make participating in the competition even easier for drivers in the Northern Region as well as in East Malaysia.

There will also be a Fuelwatch Challenge exhibition trailer making a stop at each of the eight dealership locations when the preliminary rounds take place to enable drivers to register and participate on the spot. There will be 12 sessions between 9.00 am to 5.00 pm where drivers can register and take the paper-based test to qualify for the semi-finals. The multiple sessions in a day aim to give the truck drivers flexibility and the chance to participate as they are often tied to a fixed road trip schedule.

Rosdi Muhd Ishak, Volvo Trucks’ driver development trainer said, “With many familiar faces returning each year, we strive to raise the bar with each competition too. This year, the test questions are more thought provoking and will rely on the skills and experience of each driver to answer. This ensures that our Fuelwatch Challenge gets better each year as we upped the skills of the drivers and find the best among the best.”

He also added that the 20 shortlisted drivers who qualify for the semi-final rounds will need to undergo a more intensive Driver Development Program before that to sharpen their skills and knowledge on proper driving methods, ways to save fuel and safety skills.

On this, he further said, “Our programmes have helped encourage more truck drivers adopt a deeper sense of pride in their job. In addition to technical skills, we also address aspects on how to adopt and practice the right mindset and behavior while on the road. The right attitude can make a world of difference for the driver, the employer and to other road users around, and it complements the driver’s defensive driving techniques acquired from our technical skills training.”

The Fuelwatch Challenge offers winning prizes of up to RM70,000 to be won by both the driver and the company the driver represents. The ultimate prize is where the national champion gets the chance to fly abroad and participate in the Asia Pacific and World championships. So far, Volvo Trucks has sponsored four Malaysian truck drivers who competed in the global level of the competition held overseas.

Dealership locations and schedule of the preliminary rounds of Fuelwatch Challenge 2015:

  • Shah Alam – 9 April 2015
  • Ipoh – 14 April 2015
  • Prai – 15 April 2015
  • Kuching – 21st April 2015
  • Bintulu – 23rd April 2015
  • Kuantan – 27th May 2015
  • Johor Bahru – 30th May 2015
  • Kota Kinabalu – 7th June 2015

 

 

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Scania begins city bus production in India

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Scania officially begun its city bus production in Narasapura in the Indian state of Karnataka today, in the presence of the Swedish and Indian transport ministers. Scania has so far invested 40-million Euros in Narasapura, where the company has also been assembling trucks since 2013.

Scania’s industrial operations in Narasapura, 40 km east of Bangalore, already includes final assembly of truck and bus chassis as well as bodybuilding and fitting out of complete vehicles. While the production of fully-built long-distance coaches is already running, city buses are expected to be delivered by year-end. The head office of Scania’s Indian subsidiary is also located in Narasapura, as well as a service workshop and a central parts warehouse.

The production facility is currently designed for 2,500 trucks and 1,000 buses per year and has 600 employees. Within the next five years, Scania expects to double capacity and to recruit a further 200 employees by the end of 2017.

In India, demand is increasing for vehicles with Scania’s quality and performance, as well as service-related products, in line with the country’s rapid economic growth and initiatives to improve efficiency in the transport sector. The Indian Government’s various initiatives to improve the environment and transport systems in the cities are also creating great opportunities for Scania’s sustainable solutions.

“Already today – here and now – we can deliver trucks and buses that can run on biofuels, which are increasingly being produced, for example by using waste from the cities. Scania can also contribute with competencies and experience relating to biofuel production and efficient public transport systems,” says Anders Grundströmer, Managing Director, Scania India and Senior Vice President, Scania Group.

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Tata launches Prima in UAE and Oman

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Tata Motors, India’s largest automobile manufacturer recently launched a range of next-generation Tata Prima heavy commercial vehicles in UAE and Oman. The launch of the Tata Prima in UAE and Oman marks the introduction of a new range of next-generation commercial vehicles with a series of applications in both the countries.

Developed with Tata Motors’ subsidiary – Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicles (TDCV), Tata Motors conceived the award winning Tata Prima range, setting new benchmarks in performance and design of a next-generation commercial vehicle based on superior technology, optimum power, fuel efficiency and safety. Built with technical inputs from across the world, the Tata Prima is based on an Italian cab design, engine technology from the US and Europe, gearbox expertise from Germany, chassis frame know-how from Mexico, sheet metal dies from Japan and Korea, combining Swedish precision on a robotic weld line, hence is also referred to as the ‘World truck’ by Tata Motors.

Commenting on the occasion, Ravindra Pisharody, executive director, Commercial Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors, said, “The launch of the Tata Prima brand in Oman and the UAE is an important milestone in Tata Motors’ continued expansion in the GCC region. A new next-generation range of commercial vehicles by Tata Motors, the Tata Prima brand is shaped by technology, know-how and expertise from across the globe. The range that has been launched in both the markets is world-class in every sense, giving our customers competitive business advantages with the trusted credentials of the Tata Motors brand.”

A multiple award-winning range of trucks from Tata Motors, the Tata Prima is today available in different trims, including multi-axle trucks, tractor-trailers and tippers, apt for several applications, thus meeting varied end-user requirements. With the range extending up to 49 tonnes and engine options up to 560 hp, the Tata Prima is an ideal work horse for movement of goods and material across distances and terrains, at the same time delivering efficiencies to a trucking business.

The new next-generation range of Tata Prima commercial vehicles boasts outstanding material and build quality, comfort, driving dynamics and economy, at the same time offering customers with of lowest cost of ownership. Equipped with strong aggregates and a robust chassis frame and suspension, the Tata Prima range meets the highest operating standards under extreme conditions.

Besides focusing on the mechanics of the vehicle, the uniqueness of the Tata Prima is that its cab focuses on driver comfort. The cockpit of the Tata Prima is both functional and visually ergonomic with a separation in terms of the working and living area. The cabin is air-conditioned, with roomie occupants’ space, includes reclining seats, armrests, an adjustable steering system, a music system and Global Positioning System (GPS) as a standard feature.

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