“We help our customers to make their business simpler, more profitable, more sustainable and future-proof.”
“Electric mobility, digitalisation, autonomous driving – many of our customers want to be more informed when it comes to these topics. At the IAA we want to provide simple answers to complex questions,” says Joachim Drees, Chairman of the Executive Board at MAN Truck & Bus AG. “To do so, we create solutions tailored to the needs of our customers and help them to make their businesses simpler, more profitable, more sustainable and future-proof.” MAN has therefore developed new vehicles and is also introducing digital solutions to the specialist audience in Hanover. These digital solutions help to optimise vehicle analysis and maintenance management, for example.
“The future of goods and passenger transport in the city is electric.”
At the IAA, MAN showcased the MAN eTGE, a battery-electric version of the new MAN van, in addition to a fully electric distribution truck, the MAN eTGM. MAN is one of the first manufacturers to present fully electric solutions for the entire field of city logistics between 3 and 26 tonnes. Joachim Drees believes this is the most important application area for electrically driven commercial vehicles: “Urban areas are the best stage for e-trucks to demonstrate their strengths. They are emissions-free locally, and thus contribute to improving the air quality in cities. They are also very quiet, which means in the future, for example, delivering to supermarkets could be done at night – day-time traffic could be reduced. We believe that the future of goods and passenger transport in the city is electric”.
The trade show highlight is the MAN CitE, an electrically driven city truck full of new ideas and creative solutions. The 15-tonne vehicle (which was only developed in just 18 months) was uncompromisingly designed for inner city distribution transport.
Due to the fact that delivery drivers in urban areas can enter and exit their vehicles up to 30 times a day, the CitE has an unusually low entry height and especially wide doors; the co-driver’s door opens at the press of a button. The cockpit is ergonomic perfection, affording the driver an excellent panoramic view due to a low seat position and large side windows.
Additionally, the CitE employs a 360-degree camera system to provide the greatest possible level of safety and to eliminate dangerous blind spots. The CitE is purely electrically driven. It has a range of 100 kilometres – more than enough for delivery transport in the city.
Joachim Drees says: “The CitE is more than a vehicle concept; it’s our answer to the requirements of goods transport in the city.”
Even for city buses, the path clearly leads to them being electrically driven. This is the reason why MAN has formed development partnerships with locations including Munich, Hamburg, Wolfsburg and Luxembourg – to allow daily experiences to be incorporated into series development. A close-to-series prototype of the MAN Lion’s City E is also making its début at this year’s IAA.
The electric bus is driven by a central motor on the driven axle, which allows space for an optimised seating area in the rear, providing the bus with up to four additional seats.
The batteries are crash-proof, located on the roof to save space, allow for a range of up to 270 kilometres and can be charged in just three hours.
The next step takes place in 2020, when a demo fleet of electric buses will be tested in different European cities in every day use, before series production of the battery-electric version of the new MAN Lion’s City will finally begin. This comprehensive testing ensures that the vehicles are highly reliable, as is needed for public transport.
“Platooning reduces CO2 emissions and ensures noticeably more safety on the motorway.”
The truck platooning developed by MAN is already undergoing practical testing. An electronic drawbar connects two or more trucks together here; the first truck determines the speed and direction, the truck behind automatically follows at a very short distance of only about 10-15 metres. The convoy saves up to ten per cent in fuel by using slipstreams. There is also a driver in the following vehicle so that, if required, they can intervene and override the system. “Platooning significantly reduces CO2 emissions and also ensures noticeably more safety on the motorway. It only takes 5 milliseconds for the electronic system of the following truck to react to the brake impulse of the vehicle in front – faster than any human can. This technology has the potential to significantly reduce the number of serious rear-end collisions on the motorway,” says Drees.
Since the end of June, an MAN platoon has been carrying out trips on the A9 motorway between Munich and Nuremberg as part of a pilot project. Together with DB Schenker, the commercial vehicle manufacturer is testing how this technology performs in real road traffic. The field trial is being monitored by the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences, which is investigating the effects on the drivers.
The automatic emergency braking assistant (which can no longer be deactivated in trucks and buses/coaches as standard) provides increased safety, along with the camera monitor system which allows drivers to make turns more easily and is expected to prevent serious accidents due to blind spots.
The MAN aFAS system, which was shown at the TRATON stand at the trade show, has already proven its implementation-readiness. Due to repeated, serious rear-end collisions on motorways involving rolling safety vehicles, MAN has digitally linked two vehicles, so that the rear safety vehicle can be operated without a driver.
“MAN is transforming itself from commercial vehicle manufacturer to supplier of intelligent and sustainable transport solutions.”
Digital innovations are a focus of MAN’s trade show appearance. “MAN is transforming itself from commercial vehicle manufacturer to supplier of intelligent and sustainable transport solutions,” says Joachim Drees. This is why MAN founded the digital brand RIO in 2016, to connect the world of transportation through an open, cloud-based platform, thereby making it more efficient as well as more environmentally friendly. In order to emphasise the multi-manufacturer-compatible and open approach, RIO has been its own, independent brand under the TRATON GROUP umbrella since 2017.
Building on this platform, MAN offers its customers the first digital solutions tailored to MAN vehicles under the name “MAN DigitalServices”. In the future, this will allow MAN customers to receive real-time and location-independent insights into the vehicle data and analyses derived from said data, allowing for recommendations for action to be created which are specific to them and their vehicles. MAN has introduced additional services for optimising the vehicle analysis and maintenance management at the IAA 2018. With RIO as a strategic partner, MAN customers benefit from digital vehicle services; fleet management is simplified for them, and their businesses made more profitable. Operators of mixed fleets will also receive a uniform basis of digital logistics services for the entire fleet – regardless of vehicle brand.