In Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, December 20195 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJanuary 16, 2020

The competition was strong for the 2020 International Truck of the Year award, but the Actros with MirrorCam proved to be one step ahead.

Mercedes-Benz‘s new Actros has been awarded the International Truck of the Year 2020 by a jury of 24 commercial vehicle editors and senior journalists, representing 24 major trucking magazines from throughout Europe. The prestigious award was handed over to Prof. Uwe Baake, head of product engineering Mercedes-Benz Trucks, during the press day of Solutrans, the biennial International Show for Road & Urban Transport Solutions in Lyon, France, during November. With a winning score of 121 votes, the German flagship fought off the strong challenge posed by Iveco‘s recently launched S-Way long-haul range and Volvo Trucks‘ fuelefficient FH I-Save.

Based on the International Truck of the Year (IToY) rules, the annual award is presented to the truck introduced into the market in the previous 12 months that has made the greatest contribution to road transport efficiency. Several important criteria are considered, including technological innovation, comfort, safety, driveability, fuel economy, environmental footprint and total cost of ownership. Mercedes-Benz has built upon the technical strengths of its current range to deliver a new truck that introduces substantial improvements in crucial areas, such as partial automated driving, expanded cruise and transmission control systems, digital human-machine interface and several state-of-the art safety systems.

Among the latter, the jury praised the introduction of the MirrorCam system. During a recent extended test drive in southern Spain, the IToY jury members appreciated the new Active Drive Assist system, which, in certain operational conditions, allows partially automated driving in all speed ranges. They also praised the extended functions of the new Actros‘ Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) system and the totally digital Multimedia Cockpit. PPC, in particular, can now also be used on winding cross-country routes, saving fuel and reducing the driver‘s workload. IToY chairman Gianenrico Griffini commented: “Mercedes-Benz has delivered a state-of the-art heavy-duty truck that paves the way towards autonomous driving vehicles of the future.”

Hyundai scoops Truck Innovation Award

Meanwhile, Hyundai has won the second International Truck of the Year (IToY) Truck Innovation Award for its Hydrogen Mobility Project, based on its H2 Xcient fuel-cell allelectric heavy-duty truck that promotes the introduction of a ‘green‘ hydrogen-fuel road transport ecosystem in Switzerland, and other European countries in the future. With a winning score of 80 votes, Hyundai‘s fuel cell truck-based mobility project fought off competition from the Nikola Hydrogen truck range, Freightliner‘s eCascadia, Volvo Trucks‘ Vera, Scania‘s AXL autonomous driving vehicles, and Renault Trucks‘ Optifuel Lab 3.

The trophy was awarded by the International Truck of the Year (IToY) jury – a group comprising 25 commercial vehicle editors and senior journalists, representing the major trucking magazines from Europe and one from South Africa – to Rolf Huber, chairman of Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility, and Jihan Ryu, vice president of commercial vehicle electronics control engineering group of Hyundai Motor Company. The Truck Innovation Award acknowledges the enormous technological changes and the energy transition evidenced within the field of commercial vehicles during the past few years. According to IToY rules, a Truck Innovation Award nominee must be an advancedtechnology vehicle with a gross vehicle weight over 3.5-tonnes either fitted with an alternative driveline or an alternative fuel-system.

Otherwise, it must feature specific high-tech solutions with regard to connectivity (whether semi or fully-autonomous driving systems), a ‘platooning‘ capability, or advanced support services such as remote diagnostics. The IToY jury praised the comprehensive approach to clean mobility in the commercial vehicle sector, based on the partnership of several key players in supplying eco-friendly heavy-duty trucks. We reported comprehensively on the Hyundai H2 Xcient and the Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility joint venture in the November 2019 issue of New Zealand Trucking.