INTERVIEW

Super Great –
Driving a
revolution
in the
truck industry

Project Director

Thomas Decker

PLAY MOVIE

Development concept – striking a balance

I have worked on creating a new truck several times, and in developing a new truck we always have to balance two things. One is the view of the customer and their market requirements. The other is the technology that we have in the company. To bring them into balance is always the challenge we have when we want to launch a new vehicle. With the new Super Great we bring the two together with an excellent balance, with a strong focus on future demands in the transport sector.

The four pillars of creating a great truck

With every new truck there are always four base pillars which must be met — efficiency, connectivity, safety and comfort. Efficiency is always critical, whether it is fuel, maintenance costs, payload, and of course a high up-time. Looking at new trends, Connectivity is a hot topic, which comes out of the technology we have today, that can help to improve the other pillars. Safety and Comfort are also two trends that meet the needs of an aging population and the difficulty of finding enough drivers. Our connectivity, safety and comfort concepts help to take care of the driver.

* Note: Initially, some features may not be available in all regions.

Making the shift to autonomous driving

It is a big challenge to go for an automatic transmission. Not only in Japan, but also in Europe, South America, and around the world, markets are moving in the direction of automatic transmissions. While it can be challenging to convince the customer, the technology is now so far improved, as it has really developed out of the experience of automatic driving.

And it is the future. As markets move more and more towards automatic steering, automatic braking, and automatic safe driving, if you want to go in this direction you have to make this step, because automatic shifting is the base for the automatic driving in the future.

Enhancing safety with Active Brake Assistance

I think a very important safety feature is braking assistance systems. Late braking is a root cause of many accidents, so if you can assist the driver, this is one of the big levers of safety. Of course, it is not possible to avoid all accidents, but we can assist the driver to take the risk of accidents to a lower level. For example, we over-fulfil on today’s government regulations for braking in new vehicles, we brake to zero with our vehicle. In normal driving conditions, when something happens in front of the Super Great, it will brake to zero.

Efficient powertrains boost cost performance

The characteristics of the Super Great’s four pillars begin with the whole powertrain system. A complete system that includes the engine and a well-matched exhaust system is important to making an efficient truck, in terms of fuel and oil consumption. We have also increased the payload more than ten per cent, adding to overall fuel efficiency.

And we also have two engines. The smaller engine offers very good performance, while enabling a big payload increase. If you also look at maintenance, not only of the cost but also safety, then you have a higher vehicle up-time. We take care that the quality is very high, and with a predictive maintenance system the customer can organize optimal timing for maintenance.

Refining the Super Great for each market

We participate in the Daimler model system, which is like a resource where you go in and say ‘OK, I will take it’, and choose the various systems you need. But of course you have to adjust and test each system in your market. Does it fit the requirements of local climates, temperatures, and uses? Especially for the electronics which enjoy a common development, the vehicle integration has to be done in the country where you want to perform in the market.

Offering outstanding reliability and durability

If you look to the characteristics which people expect from a Japanese product, then this is a reliable product, of the highest durability. Taking the point of view of developing a product here in Japan to satisfy and exceed local requirements and regulations, means that in other countries and globally these are fundamentally outstanding, sustainable vehicles.

In the end I am very proud of the Super Great, and I think a lot of people will be proud when this vehicle launches. This is what drives us every day to work very hard.

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