Hino shows off truck tech at 2019 Tokyo Motor Show

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To show that all the Tokyo Motor Show glitz and glamor doesn’t come exclusively from futuristic cars and SUVs, Japanese truck giant Hino Motors took the wraps off its future-tech-laden trucks and commercial vehicles. And some of these were pretty radical — easily living up to the name of the bi-annual show’s venue, Big Sight.    

Flatformer

One example is the FlatFormer, Hino’s flexible mobility concept platform. Simply put, the opportunities that this concept is endless and it will change the concept of mobility forever. According to Hino, FlatFormer will evolve mobility into a space where value is provided to people through services. While there are diverse range of services that enrich our lives, mobility, the provider of these services must also be “super-versatile.” The elements that bring super-versatility into reality are mobility platforms that maximize usable space, and service platforms that ensure the optimal use of these spaces. With FlatFormer, services themselves become mobile.

FlatFormer can dynamically revitalize urban areas and create prosperous and sustainable societies where people can connect with each other.

The FlatFormer is Hino’s flexible mobility concept platform that points the way to the future of trucks.

Profia Hybrid

Based on GPS, onboard sensors, and 3D map information, the Hino Profia Hybrid’s system predicts gradients up to 100 kilometers away. It is equipped with the world’s first technology where artificial intelligence (AI) predicts driving load and performs optimal hybrid control. This helps reduce the environmental footprint while minimizing power consumption and maximizing fuel economy.

Toward Zero Traffic Accident Casualties

Hino is working to enhance safety from diverse aspects to contribute to a safe society with “zero truck and bus traffic accident casualties.” Based on the concept of “Total Safety,” Hino is promoting initiatives for raising safety at each stage, from operation control for safe driving to preventive safety to avoid causing accidents and collision safety in the event of an accident.

Hino also believes that promoting the widespread adoption of the safety technologies it develops is of utmost importance. For this reason, Hino strives to quickly incorporate its commercialized technologies into products and make these standard equipment.

Emergency Driving Stop System

The Emergency Driving Stop System (EDSS) detects driver problems such as drowsiness and/or fatal health issues and EDSS helps to stop the vehicle. When a problem is detected, this automated driving technology, which is currently under research, checks for safety around the vehicle and maneuvers it to the roadside.

A simulator at Hino’s Tokyo Motor Show booth allowed guests to experience this for themselves as the bus driver, giving them an opportunity to get a glimpse at how Hino is aiming toward zero traffic accident casualties and experience the company’s latest safety technology currently under development.

Future Mobility Lab

Using a FlatFormer base made from building blocks, children visiting Tokyo Motor Show can use their imagination and create the mobility model of the future. 

Hino in motorsports

Cutting an awe-inspiringly big sight at Big Sight was Hino’s Dakar Rally racing truck, aka the “Little Monster.” Hino Dakar Rally trucks are developed based on the “Hino Ranger” (Hino 500 Series) truck, a medium-duty truck model that serves logistics businesses worldwide.

Hino has consistently braved this rally with its lightweight and agile medium-duty trucks since the company first entered the race. And these trucks have come to be known as the “Little Monsters” for the intense competition that they put up against their larger rival trucks that are powered by larger-displacement engines.

The author poses beside Hino’s awesome 7-ton “Little Monster” rally truck which is part of the company’s incredible 10-year run of consecutive wins in the grueling Dakar Rally. It’s based on the medium-duty Hino Ranger/500 Series.

This seven-ton super-truck sports a 8.8-liter inline-6 turbo-diesel engine that’s absolutely bursting with a stunning 2,314 Nm of torque and 660 horsepower.

There was an exhibition of the actual racing truck that competed in the Dakar Rally race held in January 2019. In 1991, Hino became Japan’s first truck manufacturer to compete in the Dakar Rally. The 2019 race marked Hino’s tenth consecutive victory in its class. Show visitors can even get inside the rally truck and take pictures.

A simulator showing Hino’s Emergency Driving Stop System (EDSS) allowed show goers to experience the company’s advanced artificial intelligence safety technology.

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