When it gets stuck in a traffic jam, even the best truck in the world cannot complete its assignment. In 2011, Renault Trucks began to play a pioneering role in reducing congestion by developing applications for smartphones such as Nav'Truck, the first HGV dedicated GPS application for the iPhone. Building on this experience, Renault Trucks is now joining the 10 or more public and private partners involved in the Optimod’Lyon research project steered by the Greater Lyon Authority. This project aims to examine how, across an entire conurbation, information concerning traffic conditions can be collected, processed and passed on to users via their mobile phones in order to improve traffic flow.
In particular, Renault Trucks will have the responsibility of developing innovative mobile technologies and services. On the basis of data collected and processed by the project's other partners, the manufacturer's engineers are aiming to develop a working tool based on a smartphone application that is simple, user-friendly and geared to meet the needs of drivers and firms involved in urban distribution. By receiving real-time or predictive information, drivers will be constantly updated on traffic conditions and road closures as well as delivery bay availabilities so that they can organise their rounds accordingly. During the experimental phase due to take place under actual operating conditions from 2014, Renault Trucks will be able to work with its customers to assess how this type of service could be used to make their day-to-day delivery assignments more efficient.
Together with the Greater Lyon Authority and Renault Trucks, the other partners in the project are IBM, Citiway, Parkéon, Phoenix, LIRIS, Orange, GLS, the LET (Transport Economics Laboratory), the CETE (Lyon Technical Study Centre) and Autoroutes Trafic. This three-year project is also backed by the LUTB (Lyon urban truck and bus) competitive cluster in which Renault Trucks has played an active part since it was set up.
Being a part of this project is in line with Renault Trucks' long-term commitment to improve goods mobility in urban environments by putting the right truck, in the right place, at the right time and with the right energy.
This approach takes form in a widely diversified range of urban vehicles designed to meet all transporters' needs as well as those of any professional needing to use trucks in towns (local authorities for road maintenance or refuse collection and also tradesmen). With the Master (front and rear wheel drive), the Maxity, the Midlum, the Premium Distribution and the Access, Renault Trucks' range of urban vehicles covers all its customers' needs from 2.8 to 26 t.
At the same time, Renault Trucks has developed other solutions as an alternative to diesel. Covered by the Clean Tech label, these include vehicles running on electricity with the Maxity Electric, hybrid vehicles with the Premium Distribution Hybrys Tech and finally vehicles running on natural gas with the Premium Distribution CNG, a vehicle which has now been on the market for over 10 years.