Geely Holding Group’s commercial vehicle brand, Farizon Auto, unveiled its next generation smart new energy semi-truck, the Homtruck, with production and first deliveries planned for early 2024.
When first deliveries begin, the Homtruck will be one of the most advanced and cleanest commercial vehicles on the road which focuses on efficiency, driver and pedestrian safety, and boasts major breakthroughs in sustainable powertrains.
The Homtruck’s architecture can carry a number of powertrain options including range extender, methanol hybrid and pure electric with battery swapping option based on government standards recently released by China’s Ministry of Industry and Technology, allowing for the Homtruck to be charged at service stations across highways in minutes rather than a substantial amount of time.
The Homtruck is named after the original aspiration of its creators to make a semi-truck that feels like home, meeting the living and emotional needs of its drivers. Semi-truck drivers around the world spend an inordinate amount of time in their vehicles, often more so than they do at home. The mobile space created by the Homtruck integrates “work, life, and entertainment”, satisfying the vital needs of its driver.
Farizon Auto’s engineers closely studied the needs of independent commercial vehicle drivers and fleet operators when developing the Homtruck’s hardware and software solutions to provide greater efficiencies throughout the network.
The Homtruck is capable of connecting to the logistics network’s big data platforms to help drivers obtain the most optimal orders in real time, analyse and track deliveries, and calculate operating costs along the routes. The Homtruck’s ‘brain’ can utilize vehicle sensors to analyse traffic data in real time and receive route recommendations. In addition, the energy management system can also manage the Homtruck’s power or fuel supply to achieve the most optimal economic performance and is able to recommend optimal refuelling or recharging routes to the driver.
Driver comfort has been brought forward as a major incentive to increase vehicle safety with the theory that well-rested drivers are more attentive and more focused.
Based on careful analysis of driver working conditions and itinerary, Farizon Auto has designed a cockpit that applies the concept of home and optimizes space to create a driving and a living area. The design includes a bathroom complete with a shower and toilet, single bed, refrigerator, tea maker, kitchen, and even a small washing machine. The ergonomic seat design and high-definition camera help ensure drivers are well-rested and well-focused, whereas an intelligent AI assistant coupled with full 360-degree cameras help to keep the driver aware of any issues around the vehicle whilst in motion or whilst stationary.
Inside the Homtruck’s cabin, designers have applied nature soft-touch fabrics, sustainable plastics, and bamboo grain materials to create a healthy eco-friendly environment inspired by the peaceful bamboo forests of China.
Within a growing number of selected routes, the Homtruck will be able to utilize L4 hands-off autonomous drive functions and will also introduce convoying features for longer journeys which allow trucks to communicate with each other to maintain safe speed and distance that will lower operator stress levels. Hardware sensors such as lidar, millimetre-wave radar, ultrasonic radar will be standard equipment along with 5G and V2X communication. The Homtruck will also be fully capable of being upgraded overtime using Over the Air (OTA) software upgrades.
Speaking at the launch, Chairperson of Geely Holding Group, Eric Li, said, “Farizon Auto’s Homtruck is the result of the synergies between Geely Holding’s technological expertise and its partners in the global automotive industry. The Homtruck represents a significant move towards a net zero-carbon freight transportation system and opens the door to a new era for the logistics industry”.