ATDynamics launches TrailerTail AutoDeploy Systems; deploying while driving to improve semi-trailer aerodynamics
ATDynamics, a global supplier of semi-trailer rear-drag aerodynamics technology, launched TrailerTail AutoDeploy systems at the American Trucking Association Management Conference & Exhibition in Orlando.
ATDynamics' new TrailerTail AutoDeploy system integrates the company’s patented fuel-saving aerodynamic rear-drag reduction technology, TrailerTail, with a highly durable, compact radar technology mounted under the semi-trailer to measure vehicle speed. When a tractor-trailer reaches a driving speed of thirty-five miles per hour, the TrailerTail automatically deploys behind the vehicle to streamline the airflow and improve vehicle fuel economy by 5 to 6 percent.
The company also introduced the TrailerTail AutoAware system which is similar to the AutoDeploy system with the addition of a driver notification light on the front left corner of the trailer. The notification light is visible in a driver’s rear-view mirror and alerts the driver when a TrailerTail is deployed and the vehicle is moving in reverse.
The ubiquitous rectangular shape of semi-trailers has remained relatively unchanged over the last century. A rectangular box is ideal for carrying cargo, but it is the worst shape for aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, the company notes.
ATDynamics pioneered and successfully commercialized TrailerTail technology in 2006. TrailerTails are mounted to a semi-trailer’s rear doors and their patented origami design allows the devices to completely collapse out of the way when the trailer doors are opened to allow the loading and unloading of cargo.
TrailerTails are to the trucking industry what winglets were to the airline industry. At first, curved-up wing tips on an airplane was a novel aerodynamic feature to save fuel. Now it is an industry standard seen on all modern aircraft. High durability, low-cost aerodynamic components combined with vehicle intelligence will dramatically accelerate industry-wide adoption of high efficiency semi-trailers.—Jeff Grossmann, ATDynamics Vice President of Engineering
More than 20,000 TrailerTails are currently circulating on US highways and the company expects that number to exceed 50,000 by 2014.