Wal-Mart unveils strange, futuristic new truck

Is that a Ferrari under there? The concept tractor-trailer has taken the Internet by storm.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 1, 2014 12:03PM
Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience
© 2014 Wal-Mart StoresBy Eli Langer, CNBC

Is Optimus Prime now working for Wal-Mart?


On Friday, Wal-Mart (WMT) unveiled its futuristic truck at the Mid-America Trucking Show, and it looks like a vehicle out of a Transformers movie. 


The tractor-trailer, which has taken the Internet by storm, is causing auto geeks to drool with its advanced turbine powertrain, electrified auxiliary components, leading edge aerodynamics, and more.


"When Wal-Mart began our sustainability journey, I never thought it would lead us to trucks like this," said Doug McMillon, president and CEO at Wal-Mart.


The concept truck is called W.A.V.E. (Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience) and is said to be 20 percent more aerodynamic than the company's current trucks.


"Wal-Mart is continually looking for innovative ways to increase our efficiencies and reduce our fleet's emissions," said Tracy Rosser, senior vice president of transportation at Wal-Mart.


In addition to Wal-Mart, the prototype's builders include Great Dane Trailers, Peterbilt and Roush Engineering.


It "looks like a truck cabin on top of a Bugatti," wrote Reddit user Sloth_Bacon.


Those looking forward to seeing the truck on the open road may be in for disappointment, though.


"It may never make it to the road," said McMillon, "but it will allow us to test new technologies and new approaches. I share it because it gives you a sense of how sustainability is helping us see things in new ways."


Wal-Mart Stores has 11,302 locations in 27 countries.


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Tags: WMT
344Comments
Apr 1, 2014 2:32PM
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I'm always amazed by WalMart.  Just look at this truck and the technology involved.  Yet, WalMart can't figure out a way to have enough cashiers at their stores, so their customers can check out without having to wait a half-hour in a line 10 people deep with only two registers open out of about 20 stations.  Maybe the great minds at WalMart can work on the check-out problem.
Apr 1, 2014 4:25PM
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If Walmart really wants to impress me, they'll have more than one or two cashiers at the checkouts.

 

Spend money on that, and keep people from having to wait in mile-long lines to pay for their stuff, Walmart, and then maybe I can say you've DONE something.

Apr 1, 2014 4:43PM
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They should put money into getting staff at the stores and customer service ppl that know what they are doing.
Apr 1, 2014 8:59PM
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I love Walmart, I don't know why people are complaining about the checkouts?I never had an issue? Yeah the bathrooms can be scary but....................where are you going to shop on a middle class salary? The thing that hurts the most is being in line behind the food stamp people getting loads of stuff free and paring in the fire lane to load up there fancy cars and stopping for a McDonalds on the way out. Walmart would be great if they had policies in place......no riding the elec.carts because you are too fuc*ing lazy to walk,it is terrible here in Florida to see really elderly people trying to get groceries and you have these fat lazy bitches on the scooters because they think they are too special to walk and all the handicap parking for the same reason. Our state is the worst for this! we need to be concerned for our citizens to get the parking and handicap scooters they need to take care of themselves and help them anyway we can. It is really sick to see people running in the parking lot to get on a scooter and see a 90-year old person struggle to stand behind a shopping cart.
Apr 1, 2014 3:44PM
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Sometime Wally is the best! Other times they are the worst, two of the bad are checkout and bathrooms
Apr 1, 2014 6:22PM
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Walmart should take better care of their employees.
Apr 1, 2014 3:03PM
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I think Wal-Mart has a lot bigger problems to focus on than new trucks. Customers are leaving Wal-Mart in droves.
Apr 1, 2014 12:12PM
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trucks with their aero drag have always been ripe for design improvements. 

 

hopefully SOME of these features make it to the road. 

 

next up might be crossing over some concepts to trains. 

Apr 1, 2014 1:55PM
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I actually feel somewhat vindicated because there is a very slight mention about this experimental vehicle's power train.  It is said to be "causing auto geeks to drool with its advanced turbine power train."  Ta Da!!!!  Chrysler had it right back in the 1960s it seems.  When Chrysler was forced to shelve the turbine concept because of many factors the official reason that was publicly offered was that it was just impractical for use in the personal automobile. 


That was an outright lie because I knew one of the first drivers who road tested their early prototypes and actually was fortunate enough to get a ride in his test vehicle.  He explained all of the problems that they had encountered and all of the fixes that Chrysler engineers had put into his car.  It was perhaps still three or four years out for a true finished product but the rest of the industry as well as the oil industry were petrified and united to force Chrysler to put this whole concept where the sun doesn't shine.  They lobbied Congress and pressured the government to help them put a stop to it.  Enter Lee Iacocca and a rather large government subsidy for Chrysler and arrivaderci turbine car.


This is a classic case of corporate greed and power shutting down a very cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional ICE.  Proof of that lie is the fact that turbine technology is used effectively and efficiently in almost every other application from locomotives to sea going ships and modern commercial aircraft.  That fact totally belies their lame explanation for dropping the turbine car project and this new truck proves that it is a functional application that has a future.   

Apr 1, 2014 2:20PM
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For all the Wal-Mart haters, suck on this:

I remember growing up in a small town before there was Wal-Mart. All those "mom and pop stores" you cherish so much constantly charged us 100% markups on just about everything except food--that was "only" marked up 25% to 33%. So I guess Wal-Mart is "evil" for offering ordinary people everywhere low markups once only enjoyed by urban folk (because there was intense competition in urban areas already). It's also hilarious that Wal-Mart haters LOVE Target, which is essentially the same thing. And the fact that there are a lot of imported goods in both these stores is because of you, the customers--it's what people choose.

Apr 2, 2014 1:11AM
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WalMart can spend tons of money on a new truck design but still can't pay its workers a livable wage.  Sorry but I am not impressed. 
Apr 1, 2014 2:30PM
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The extremely low cowlings on this truck will never hit the road, because they will hit every ice chunk on the road (or rock or trash, etc.) I know low cowlings save fuel, but aren't good in the real world. Otherwise, a lot of these innovations will probably make it. Turbines have a lot fewer moving parts than piston engines, and should give a better service life.

 

Train locomotives were already diesel-electric (diesel engines generating power for electric motors), and new ones use turbines and regenerative braking too.

Apr 1, 2014 1:37PM
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Probably stole the idea from their suppliers and just rebranded a cheaper version of their own.....through a Chinese manufacturer.

Apr 1, 2014 4:20PM
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Why invest in this if it's never going to be put to use?
Apr 1, 2014 1:02PM
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Steve maybe you have missed some of the Hi-Speed trains in Europe and Asia...


They are pretty cool, and designed for aerodynamics and speed..

Apr 1, 2014 2:03PM
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Maybe since Chrysler now belongs to the Italians the turbine car can be resurrected once again and launched from an Italian manufacturing base.  True the turbine doesn't get the greatest mileage but that really doesn't matter since it can be made to run on the cheapest available fuel in either liquid or powder form.  All that is needed is a combustible substance that can be atomized and it will run perfectly in a turbine engine.  This thing can be made to run on flour or even soot reclaimed from industrial smoke stacks and it does so without harmful emissions because everything combusts in the combustion chamber even the pollen in the air.  What comes out is water and pure air, no carbon monoxide or other pollutants.  That was one of the selling points made by early Chrysler documentation. 
Apr 1, 2014 3:05PM
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It "looks like a truck cabin on top of a Bugatti."

 

When that happens out on the open road, it's not very pretty.

Apr 1, 2014 2:17PM
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I like this truck! It is time for America's truck manufacturers to move into the modern age. Look at how sleek and streamlined European trucks are! I bet they go farther than ours on the same amount of fuel. A wind-cheating cab and trailer style will save tons of as or diesel anyday. With our goods mostly moved by trucks it is only right that our truck makers make streamlining trucks their first priority.
Apr 2, 2014 5:36AM
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If they want to increase efficiency, why don't they put more people on the check out lines so you can check out faster?

23 check out stations and only two open with very long lines.


But no, they spend their money on #%$%$#! like this. 

Apr 2, 2014 2:23AM
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Is the truck made in China like most their other products...??
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