Lightweight materials will make the greatest impact in helping medium- and heavy-duty trucks achieve upcoming greenhouse gas/fuel efficiency regulations, according to respondents to an online poll posted on SAE Off-Highway Engineering Online and Automotive Engineering International Online for two weeks in late November and early December. Lightweight materials were chosen by about 42% of the 64 respondents, hailing from 15 nations.
Automatic engine shutdown (idle reduction) came in second with nearly 22% of the vote, followed by design optimization (17%), aerodynamics (11%), and intelligent electronics (e.g., predictive cruise control) at almost 8%. Low rolling resistance tires did not receive a vote.
Half (32) of the respondents were from the U.S., who likewise selected lightweight materials as the most beneficial technology area at 37.5%. Design optimization and automatic engine shutdown swapped places compared to the overall vote, with 22% and 19%, respectively. Aerodynamics received nearly 16% of the U.S. vote, and intelligent electronics received just over 6%.
India had the second most respondents with 8, and Canada was third with 5. Countries posting a single vote included Pakistan (for design optimization), Singapore (lightweight materials), Malaysia (intelligent electronics), and Sri Lanka (automatic engine shutdown).