Does Concept Rig Represent New WAVE in Truck Design?

March 6, 2014

Say Goodbie to the Classic Tractor Trailer

When Walmart recently revealed its high-concept truck-and-trailer prototype, you could hear jaws dropping across the country. With its sleek, futuristic cab design, the Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience, or WAVE, looks like it jumped off the screen of the latest Robocop movie. A collaborative effort between America's largest retailer and Peterbilt, Great Dane Trailers and Capstone Turbine, WAVE takes tractor trailers where no semi has gone before!

Click here to take a video tour of the WAVE.

Below we've noted some of the prototype's more interesting features:

  • The prototype is powered by an advanced, turbine-driven, hybrid powertrain that they're calling a "microturbine hybrid powertrain." Combined with an electric motor and battery storage system, the system is supposed to significantly extend vehicle range.
  • A convex nose constructed of carbon fiber gives the cab a sleek, almost teardrop shape, maximizing aerodynamics which are further enhanced by the sliding driver's door.
  • The curve of the cab design allows for larger windows to maximize front and side visibility, increasing safety.
  • Pushing the driver's command center forward into the nose of the cab allowed designers to increase cargo space.
  • The use of carbon fiber in both the cab and trailer increase strength while minimizing weight. The trailer features innovative one-piece, 53-foot-long carbon fiber panels that run the length of the trailer.
  • Designed to increase driver comfort, safety and productivity, the WAVE is equally innovative on the inside. The driver's command center features a centered driver's seat and electronic dashboard with customizable gauges and performance data.
  • Drivers will appreciate the inclusion of a comfortable, full-size sleeper.

Unfortunately, you won't see head-turning WAVEs on the highway anytime soon; but we wouldn't be surprised to see some of the rig's advanced design elements cropping up in new cab, trailer and engine designs over the next year or two. Keep an eye out for these innovative features on new truck listings.

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