Hyundai have released a driverless, hydrogen-powdered heavy goods lorry that looks like a high-speed  ‘streamliner’ train.   

But its sleek design – with seemingly no doors or access –  leaves just one question: how do you get in?  

Although it may not be immediately obvious, passengers can actually use a sliding door and retractable steps to enter the vehicle, which are cleverly hidden in the large grill. 

The trucks’ only waste product is water, emitted from the tail pipe, meaning it could drastically change the levels of pollution created on the roads. 

The concept for the HDC-6 Neptune may seem futuristic, but according to the company’s vision the world’s roads will be inundated by the ‘Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles’ as soon as 2030. 

It was inspired by the iconic U.S. streamliner trains that ran from 1936 until 1959, particularly Henry Dreyfuss’ design for the New York Central Railroad, a prime example of Art Deco industrial design. 

Hyundai have released a driverless, hydrogen-powdered heavy goods lorry that looks like a high-speed 'streamliner' train - the Hyundai HDC-6 NEPTUNE

Hyundai have released a driverless, hydrogen-powdered heavy goods lorry that looks like a high-speed ‘streamliner’ train – the Hyundai HDC-6 NEPTUNE

Although it may not be immediately obvious, passengers can actually use a sliding door and retractable steps to enter the vehicle, which are cleverly hidden in the large grill

Although it may not be immediately obvious, passengers can actually use a sliding door and retractable steps to enter the vehicle, which are cleverly hidden in the large grill 

Two streamlined 1930s locomotives, near Washington, D.C.; Shutterstock ID 249571990; Purchase Order: -

The concept’s design was inspired by U.S. streamliner trains that ran from 1936 until 1959 and were a prime example of Art Deco industrial design. Two streamlined 1930s locomotives, near Washington, D.C

Unveiled yesterday at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show, the design is Hyundai’s answer to a clean-energy powered haulage trucks.

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Despite being a driverless concept the elaborate design features a large lounge with seating in the cab of the truck, along with a spiral staircase and a sliding door.  

Due to increased cooling requirements, the grill of the vehicle wraps around the entire lower portion of the Hyundai HDC-6 NEPTUNE. 

The trucks’ only waste product is water, emitted from the tail pipe, meaning it could drastically change the levels of pollution created on the roads.

Despite being a driverless concept the elaborate design features a large lounge with seating in the cab of the truck, along with a spiral staircase and a sliding door

Despite being a driverless concept the elaborate design features a large lounge with seating in the cab of the truck, along with a spiral staircase and a sliding door

How do you get in? Fold out steps are incorporated in the grill section below the door

How do you get in? Fold out steps are incorporated in the grill section below the door

Additionally the green vehicle even sucks in dirty air and cleans it as it goes along with a series of filters. 

Luc Donckerwolke, chief design officer at Hyundai Motor Group, said: ‘The fuel cell powertrain gave us the opportunity to redefine the classical typology and architecture of the truck.

‘The Hyundai Commercial Vehicles Design Team started with a white sheet of paper focusing on the new defined functionality resetting all standards in order to project commercial vehicles in the future.’ 

The HT Nitro ThermoTech concept trailer cooling unit is virtually noiseless which significantly reduces noise pollution for drivers as well as at the point of deliveries

The HT Nitro ThermoTech concept trailer cooling unit is virtually noiseless which significantly reduces noise pollution for drivers as well as at the point of deliveries

South Korean Hyundai believes it will be building 500,000 hydrogen-powered motors every year by 2030

South Korean Hyundai believes it will be building 500,000 hydrogen-powered motors every year by 2030

A fleet of HDC-6 Neptunes, a driverless, hydrogen-powdered heavy goods lorry

A fleet of HDC-6 Neptunes, a driverless, hydrogen-powdered heavy goods lorry

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In addition to the sustainable fuel used for the truck Hyundai Translead are also launching a low-carbon emitting refrigerating unit, the Nitro ThermoTech.

It will be one of the first trailers to use a cryogenic nitrogen refrigeration technology system and will have a carbon footprint of up to 90 per cent smaller than a traditional unit.  

The trailer, which attaches to the Class 8 heavy duty truck will be made from one light weight panel, a foam panel with Fiber Reinforced Polymer skins, to reduce energy consumption and also help insulate any refrigerated goods inside.

Edward Lee Head of Hyundai Commercial Vehicle Business Division said: ‘Today at this show, by showing HDC-6 Neptune, the first hydrogen-only concept for Hyundai Motor Company’s commercial vehicles, we will start exploring opportunities in the United States commercial vehicle market.

‘Furthermore, we are willing to work with other partners to pave the way to establish a hydrogen ecosystem for CV (commercial vehicles). ‘ 

South Korean Hyundai believes it will be building 500,000 hydrogen-powered motors every year by 2030.

HOW DO HYDROGEN FUEL CELLS WORK?

Hydrogen fuel cells create electricity to power a battery and motor by mixing hydrogen and oxygen in specially treated plates, which are combined to form the fuel cell stack.

Fuel cell stacks and batteries have allowed engineers to significantly shrink these components to even fit neatly inside a family car, although they are also commonly used to fuel buses and other larger vehicles.

Oxygen is collected from the air through intakes, usually in the grille, and hydrogen is stored in aluminium-lined fuel tanks, which automatically seal in an accident to prevent leaks.

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These ingredients are fused, releasing usable electricity and water as byproducts and making the technology one of the quietest and most environmentally friendly available.

Reducing the amount of platinum used in the stack has made fuel cells less expensive, but the use of the rare metal has restricted the spread of their use.

Recent research has suggested hydrogen fuel cell cars could one day challenge electric cars in the race for pollution-free roads, however – but only if more stations are built to fuel them.

Fuel cell cars can be refueled as quickly as gasoline-powered cars and can also travel further between fill-ups.

Fuelling stations cost up to £1.5 million ($2 million) to build, so companies have been reluctant to build them unless more fuel cell cars are on the road.

The U.S. Department of Energy lists just 34 public hydrogen fuelling stations in the country; all but three are in California. 

According to Information Trends, there were 6,475 FCV’s worldwide at the end of 2017.

More than half were registered in California, which puts the U.S. (53 per cent) at the forefront for FCV adoption.

Japan takes second place with 38 per cent, while Europe is at nine per cent.



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