Tests start on Renault’s specialised urban truck

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DHL is to start urban delivery trials of a specially designed Renault truck in Lyon in January.

Renault developed the vehicle to offer a high level of performance in terms of environmental protection, safety, security and driver comfort. Developed from a 190 hp Midlum 12 tonner, the vehicle features low noise levels (3 dB(A) below regulatory levels) and reduced pollution emissions on account of its Euro4 engine (compatible with the Euro5 standard that will apply from 2009).

Its complete telematics system (navigation, positioning, goods identification via RFID, liaison with base, etc…) informs the driver of the truck’s arrival in an environmental urban zone so that he can enable the low noise and gas emission functions.

The driver’s job has been made easier by the ergonomics of the on-board control functions, with a generalised system of automatic unlocking (including access to loading) for the elevated tailgate and “hands-free” start-up with a push-button function. It also has an electrically-controlled parking brake which allows new functionalities to be added, such as the automatic parking function and a hill-start aid.

The bodywork and equipment were especially studied to carry out loading and unloading operations easily and with low noise emissions. Vehicle signalling and lighting of operating zones have been improved and a camera positioned at the rear, combined with reversing alarms, ensures a high level of safety during manoeuvres.

After the Lyon phase of the trials, the vehicle will be transferred to Barcelona in 2008 to test its performance in night deliveries.

The vehicle has been developed as part of the European research programme, FIDEUS (Freight Intelligent Delivery of Goods in European Urban Spaces). It will appear alongside the Hybrys, an urban concept vehicle using hybrid technology.

The FIDEUS programme was launched in 2005 to develop a new design for urban transport of goods which protects quality of life in our town centres while improving efficiency. It involves a number of partners, including vehicle and automotive equipment manufacturers (Renault Trucks, IVECO, ECA), delivery companies DHL and TNT, regional authorities from Lyon, Hanover and Barcelona and some university laboratories (University of Westminster, Fraunhofer Institute).


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