Geely Holding Group’s commercial vehicle brand, Farizon Auto, has unveiled its new next-generation smart energy semi-truck, the Homtruck. Production and first deliveries of the truck are planned for early 2024, and in terms of looks, you’d be forgiven for the obvious comparisons to Tesla’s Semi.
When first deliveries begin, Farizon Auto say the Homtruck will be one of the most advanced and cleanest commercial vehicles on the road. It focuses on efficiency, driver and pedestrian safety and boasts breakthroughs in sustainable powertrains.
The Homtruck’s architecture will offer a number of powertrain options including range extender, methanol hybrid and pure electric, with a battery swapping option based on government standards recently released by China’s Ministry of Industry and Technology. This will allow the Homtruck to be charged at service stations across highways in just minutes.
The Homtruck will be able to utilise L4 hands-off autonomous drive functions and will also introduce convoying features for longer journeys. This 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 and ultrasonic radar will be standard equipment along with 5G and V2X communication. The Homtruck will also be fully capable of being upgraded over time using Over the Air (OTA) software upgrades.
The name of the Homtruck comes from the original aspiration of its creators to design a semi-truck that feels like home, meeting the living and emotional needs of its drivers.
Truck drivers around the world spend a considerable amount of time in their vehicles, often more so than at home. The mobile space created by the Homtruck integrates work, life and entertainment to satisfy the needs of its drivers.
Farizon Auto have designed a cockpit that applies the concept of home and optimises 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 cabin, designers have applied natural soft-touch fabrics, sustainable plastics and bamboo grain materials to create a healthy eco-friendly environment inspired by the peaceful bamboo forests of China.
Driver comfort has been a focus and incentive to increase vehicle safety with the theory that well-rested drivers are more attentive and more focused. All of these user-friendly features are especially pertinent with the current global driver shortages.
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.
As a result, the Homtruck is capable of connecting to the logistics network’s big data platforms. This will help drivers obtain the optimal orders in real-time, analyse and track deliveries and calculate operating costs along the routes.
The Homtruck can also use vehicle sensors to analyse traffic data in real time and receive route recommendations. Plus, the energy management system can also govern 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.
Farizon Auto say that target markets will include Europe, Japan, Korea and North America. It will be interesting to see whether Farizon Auto beat Tesla to market with their take on the electric truck.
Eric Li, Geely Holding Group chairperson, 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.”