Every other year the Internationale Automobil Aussstellung (IAA) in Hannover, Germany plays host to one of the most important commercial vehicle shows in Europe.
Due to the longer lead-time in designing and building trucks, buses and vans there are fewer launches as opposed to the car industry. But while the 2014 show was relatively low key as opposed to the mega 2012 event — which had major truck and bus launches from Volvo, Scania, DAF and MAN — this year’s event also had a few notable debuts.
Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 concept
“The Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 heralds a new era in long distance driving,” says Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, member of Daimler’s Board of Management and responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses, and this was by all accounts the concept truck launch at the 2014 IAA.
Mercedes showed an autonomous truck loaded with a host of technologies based on an existing Actros earlier this year, but for the show the company built a futuristic looking aerodynamic design around the Actros, which literally had no graphics. The only graphics it had was an LED light pattern around the huge three-star logo and headlamp area, which appeared only when required.
The truck’s side view looks fast and dynamic but overall it was resoundingly bland. It lacks the usual attributes associated with trucks — strength, toughness and huge grille openings. The surface language also appeared too sophisticated and subtle for a truck of this size.
But it’s in the interior that the Future Truck 2025 really comes into its own, with an abundance of leather and wood blending with new technology. Calm and uncluttered, dark open-pore wood flows from the floor to the leather covered IP while indirect climate control with a touchpad replacing conventional switch strips highlights the functional character of the truck’s technical features. Ambient lighting and a removable tablet computer in the center console also speaks to the high-tech nature of the cabin.
The Vision concept gained a lot of attention from both the press and the public. Alluding to its name, the design is characterized by large glazed surfaces and latticed A-pillars, which enhance visibility and make for a pleasing environment aboard. The overall silhouette is close to the existing Daily van that has been scaled up, albeit a bit too much and for an unknown reason.
Nevertheless, the Vision concept’s surface language appeared very fresh and the mesh pattern — in the grille, side steps, rear steps, etc — was well resolved throughout. Inside, the single driver’s seat is joined by a new adaptive HMI, which includes a high-integration tablet, while the recessed ambient lighting clearly denotes this van as being of the concept variety.
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