I’ll admit I do have a tendency to speak in hyperbole, but this time I’m making an exception only because Hyundai’s truck shows ‘truckloads’ of promise. I’m talking clean energy-burning, hydrogen-fuel-cell powered, autonomous driving, zero emissions, zero noise semi-truck with an ergonomic design that looks splendid from the outside and provides a stunning panoramic view on the inside. I love my cushy desk-job, but damn, if I had a chance to be a trucker with a Hyundai HDC-6 Neptune, I’d probably give it all up in a heartbeat.
Inspired by the aesthetic of the 1936 Mercury Train, Hyundai’s latest semi concept channels the art-deco beauty of the machine, giving it a suitable revival in the form of a sufficiently advanced truck capable of wowing people. The HDC-6 Neptune relooks the semi-truck typology by redesigning it around Hyundai’s zero-emission fuel-cell technology. The truck features a panoramic cockpit with a skylight that offers an incredible amount of sunlight during the day, giving the interiors a rather glamping-inspired touch. The truck comes with autonomous driving capabilities, allowing the driver to kick back and watch movies on a HUD built right into the truck’s windshield, or take relaxation to another level with the shape-shifting cabin that comes with two levels. As impressive as the insides are (enough to make me consider switching jobs), the exterior is just as wowing. The truck’s glass top is balanced with a seamless grille at the base that runs from end to end, helping with cooling. The truck uses hydrogen fuel technology that burns to release water-vapor, making the truck have zero emissions, while its bullet-shaped streamlined design helps improve fuel economy… and the cherry on the cake is definitely those shape-shifting rims on the wheels that help further air-intake!
We’re less than a year away from the start of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, so the Japanese city is well underway with preparations for the celebration of athletic talent, sportsmanship, and global goodwill. Among the many things that will be needed for the games to be successful will be methods for athletes to get quickly and safely between their housing and venues during the games – and automaker Toyota is working on just that.
These specially-designed vehicles are based on the e-Palette, an autonomous, battery electric mini-bus first shown in 2018. This updated version has been specially adapted to provide mobility for the athletes in Tokyo’s Olympic and Paralympic villages.
The Tokyo 2020 e-Palette has big doors that slide to the sides to allow for quick entry and exit by multiple passengers, as well as electric ramps to make it easier for those in wheelchairs or with other physical challenges to board and disembark. It has low floors, and a long wheelbase with virtually no overhangs, allowing for the greatest capacity inside.
One e-Palette has enough room to transport four athletes in wheelchairs at the same time, along with a standing passengers as well. It’s not clear what the total capacity is between seated and standing passengers though.
The e-Palette is rated SAE Level 4 autonomous, and will automatically drive passengers to their destinations with the help of various cameras, sensors, and sophisticated 3D mapping technology. Toyota says a human operator will be on-board each vehicle for safety purposes, but they will only take the controls in an emergency or if other conditions prevent safe autonomous operation.
Toyota plans on showing off the Olympic-bound e-Palette during the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, which runs from October 24 to November 4.