Imagine for a moment that James T. Kirk did not go to Starfleet Academy, and went instead – to truck driving school.
Well, his ride has arrived…
In fact, Shell, which is helping develop this new truck, calls the project the “Starship Initiative.”
The goal however, is not to explore new worlds, but to use energy more efficiently in the world we’ve got. This new truck incorporates new design ideas, but it will run on diesel and be a truck that could haul cargo on the roads of today, in the lifetime of those of us around today.
Shell’s collaborator on this project is Bob Sliwa and his AirFlow Truck Company – and you’ll find their fuel-saving innovations inside and outside this truck. The aerodynamic front is unmistakable. But in addition, the truck sides and back sweep down almost to the ground, which cuts wind resistance. The cab – built from carbon fiber, strong but much lighter than today’s truck cabs. An energy-efficient six-cylinder diesel engine. A futuristic-looking convex windshield. Low-rolling resistance tires that cut friction with the road. Oils and lubricants from the Shell labs.
This “laboratory on wheels” made a coast-to-coast run recently, to road test the truck design. The results? Compared to the current industry average for big rigs, the amount of cargo the “Starship” could move per gallon of diesel was almost 250 percent higher. That’s a massive increase in fuel efficiency.
So keep an eye out on the highway for this Starship (not that you’d miss it). And get ready for, “These are the voyages of – my 18-wheeler, good buddy!”
Click here to read more about what’s new, what’s next and what it means for you.