Atropos : An Aeorodynamic Converting Hybrid Semi Truck

The smallest improvement to the highway freight industry will create a great impact. This highly efficient truck is achieved by the use of a diesel/electric hybrid setup, a converting sleeper cab, and its streamline design. Named Atropos, the truck runs with high efficiency through the use of a combustion turbine coupled with an electrical generator. The generator charges the battery reservoir. The combustion turbine utilizes its thermal energy by the use of a steam generator throughout the cooling system, the steam generator also provides an additional amount of cooling, reducing the size of engine ventilation and overall body drag.

The converging sleeper cab sits like a conventional driving cab, but allows for more visibility. The driving cab rotates to allow for a better sleeping position, and reveals a storage compartment for personal storage and a mini dresser. While the cab is in the sleep position the drive pedals are locked out under the cab, due to the rotation, for safety. The seats fold down and together to form a comfortable memory foam mattress.

atropos truck

atropos truck

The cab glass is also ionized and tints or blacks out according to the driver’s needs, the location of the tint will also modify to allow for view on top and not out the sides, or as the driver wishes. The aerodynamic streamline shape was inspired by locomotives and DTM race cars. The fenders sweep up to provide minimal drag, while the hood sleekly rounds to allow air to pass effortlessly, much like an airplane nose. The cab forms a tear drop shape, and covers over the cab-trailer gap, eliminating drag between the cab and trailer. The cab is also bowed at the rear to accommodate the trailer during turns while reducing drag by covering over the sides.

atropos truck

Text from Peter :

Aerodynamic Converting Hybrid Semi. The hybrid truck utilizes its aerodynamics by eliminating the sleeper cab and rounding the body. Long haul truck drivers are the target market. The driving cab rotates to accommodate the driver for sleep and exposes a storage compartment for clothes and possessions. The wheelbase adjusts to provide optimum aerodynamics and ride comfort, while allowing parking to become an easier task. The rear portion of the cab is curved to form the radius of the trailer to allow for turns and additional aerodynamics. The top portion of the cab has an adjustable airfoil to allow air over the top of the trailer, thus reducing even more drag. In the cab the driver experiences a sense of openness and optimal vision, but when he or she needs privacy the Ionized windows will tint or even black out for sleep.

“I set out to create an efficient truck for the vast highway freight market. Even the smallest increase in efficiency creates a huge impact on the overall use of fuel. In the U.S. alone, millions of gallons of diesel are used every year on semi truck transit. Along with its environmental impact the truck must accommodate for its driver at rest and at work. The cab must give the feeling of home while at the same time provide a safe driving environment. Parking the truck without the trailer is also an issue to address. ” states Peter Azzouni.

atropos truck

atropos truck

atropos truck

Designer : Peter Azzouni

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24 thoughts on “Atropos : An Aeorodynamic Converting Hybrid Semi Truck

  1. This is a great idea, the design is sleek, streamline, and the converter seats are ideal, especially for truckers who have to sit on that seat for a long time.

  2. Thanks, If have any further Ideas or would like to see more information on this concept please check out my coroflot page. I have wind tunnel tested the physical model against a current streamline body truck and reduced the drag by 20%.

  3. you should make the cab black out some way for privacy of the driver when sleeping or when ever stoped. over all looks awseome.

  4. Thanks, I originally envisioned some form of ionic tint glass that could tint on command using electricity. I don't have any current renderings of the cab blacked out, but I do appreciate the comment.

  5. the future siemis are awsome and have more carateristic and are probably better for the world also i thik we should keep the semis we have 2 day cause there better

  6. This is cruel and inhuman punishment. Part of the idea of a sleeper cab is to be able to not only sleep in it, but use it as a small home. In other words, be able to move around in it etc. A small RV if you will. This rotating cab with seats/beds is a stupid and cramped idea. Too many moving parts to malfunction and completely impractical.

    The new high-tech tires will be noisy and more prone to disintegration than even a retread. The front end is too low, no clearance, unless you plan to drive on runways all the time. It's ugly as sin and looks like a clog or shoe.

    Why would anyone buy this when they can get a much more comfortable and practical sleeper cab already? Some are even made to order.

    I'd like to see how far you can haul 75,000 lbs on batteries, even as a hybrid. The batteries would best be left for climate control while sleeping, because many States now have idle laws. I'd like to see you sleep in a tin can in the desert at 100+ degrees without air-conditioning and see if you'd not let the engine idle and keep you cool. If the batteries could do this and last the night, then you'd get customers for that part of the design.

  7. I like the hybrid idea, and taking after trains is also good. the last comment is correct, the driver does more than sleep in the sleeper compartment and needs space to move around. We are not robots, that is why sleepers have gotten bigger over the years. there are times that a driver will be stuck somewhere for a few days waiting for their next dispatch. also with ten hours off, or more in some occasions we will watch movies, eat dinner, ect. how does your sleeper aid in those aspects? that is a drivers home. would you want to live in that thing for a couple months? me either.

  8. In reply to SuperSparky’s comment, I understand your concern for the interior size. This is only a concept, I don’t anticipate an exact production model from this, but Ideas to be taken. As far as the looks / ground clearance, A model of this truck has been wind tunnel tested for aerodynamic efficiency, which provided a 20% reduce in drag over one of the best aerodynamic trucks out today. The front bumper would be raised for a production model. Your comment for the long haul on a hybrid platform has been dis-proven since the early 1900s. Diesel trains using electric motors and batteries have dominated the freight industry for over 70 years.

    The sleeper itself utilizes the rotating feature to allow more headroom when in the sleep position, you are fee to move around, and the dash turns into an entertainment center utilizing the navigation screen as possibly a computer or television.

    Please remember, this is a concept. It illustrates the possibilities. You could sit in the driver’s seat and without moving, convert your seat into a bed and turn your cab into a blacked out bedroom where you can enjoy watching movies on your dash and relax with minimal effort.


  9. my only worry is that drivers will be no longer be needed due to smart tech- why pay a driver when the truck can drive its self-is it a long way off?

    i hope so

  10. hi peter..!!

    its great to see how aerodynamics have been adopted in this truck.!! and being aeronautical student..!! why cant we use solar panels over the roof and on the front hood of truck to make it more hybrid..!! cant we combine both solar energy and thermal energy together to produce better power using hybrid technology..!! could you please explain how thermal energy being harvested in detail?? with a visualizations if you can??? it is a indeed a wonderful truck.

  11. I think the last comment has something. Why not incorporate the hybrid concept into the trailer as well. Add solar panels for trickle charging the batteries for climate control during 10 Hr rest stops (make it 16 hrs just in case a driver knocks out for a full 16). Make the trailer body & cab air ride so the entire vehicle drops based on speed. The faster you go the lower the overall height drops adding to overall aerodynamics. Fill the space on the sides with aerodynamic panels that also double as solar panels so you can trickle charge onboard batteries. Last but not least I am sure with enough data you can come up with a trailer that is not a box slicing through the air like a parachute & still carry as much or more freight then the current configuration. Just some thoughts 

  12. I like this, and for a specific purpose: Extended Run Day Cab.

    The rotating cab concept is interesting, and the diesel/electric/steam turbine concept is available short term–with a little bit of design and miniaturizing of component parts.

    This design would be good for one or three-day outings, but not for long-haul drivers, unless they’re staying in a hotel during their time out–if it’s going to be longer than three days.

    I’d like to see this idea taken a step higher, and see what the concept artist can do with the transforming-cab concept, but in a bigger–and, of course, more elaborate–type of ‘unfold-and-transform’ design.

    This is interesting, fresh, forward-thinking, and the concept artist has the right idea.

    Keep the ideas flowing!

  13. Wow, this is amazing, my mom's boy friend is a semi driver and wow would this be a relief from what he currently goes though.

  14. He would be able to do things better and faster so he could get home faster because his stuff is all delivered.

  15. Its a great idea. I think today's truck definitely need a new design. I realize its just a concept but I would make sure in the prototype that the driver has plenty of visibility over the Hood and please make sure that us drivers can lean out of the window to backup. There are enough bad drivers out there already. Over all tho, I think youve. Git a winner. Good work! Hope to drive one soon.

    • I have just earned my Class 1 with Air Brakes and am really new, but, I don't see a way to account for the size of the front of the truck…what about the massive "blind spot" due to the hugeness of the front? Please advise as I love this vehicle, but, I would want to have either a frontal camera or some kind of viewing mechanism on the front portion.

      • You’re really new> well, UR in luck (if U end up calling me)! I used to be a CDL Class ‘A’ driver, also known as an OTR driver with Digby South West (DSW). They hauled loads ONLY for SWIFT trucking company.. so I indirectly worked for SWIFT in a since. I happen to feel sorry for you, and am willing to give you FREE advice from one former trucker to another trucker. I can’t say it here, but if call I’ll tell ya a ‘trick-to-the-trade’ or trade secret.. which really isn’t known (or used) by many truckers at all> no one I knew or know now. However, with 5 mo. behind me & approx. 45,000 miles put on, I can say for certain this trick will work; please call -it’s for UR benefit, not nearly so much mine, my friend. -Thetaplex PC / Kevin E.

  16. I like that you are working on a new design. My nephew says he would feel so "displayed" in the unit here, but, if you had the tinted windows, I cannot imagine it would be problematic.
    Keep up the great work.. I believe you're on to something.

  17. Thumbs up to SuperSparky! Right on, my man! I do see some practicality in it, but compared to already existing Frieghtliners which are somewhat more cramped even.. & more aerodynamic too.. then, this really is stupid. I love the design; how it looks; awesome! This really would be fitting for a T-1000 Terminator to drive!

  18. As an owner of a trucking company and a driver for 20 plus years, i can say that the overall design is a good start, but it does have issuses. Yes diesel electric locomotives have been used for years, but the hybrid for trucks is still a ways off. They work well for local deliveries, but not long haul. We already have APU’s (auxiliary power units) for running AC and powering the “home” portion of the truck when parked. Some are just small diesel generators and there are also battery pack ones that last about 12 hours. Look at the Volvo trucks and intragrated sleeper cab units of some of the other companies to expand on what you have come up with. The current Solar panels have a ways to go before yhey could be put on a truck the vibration from the road and jarring from potholes would destroy them. Laws regarding sleeper units states that it must be a separate unit from the cab or it can’t be used as a sleeper. The aerodynamics of your concept may be sound, but it is too low. It will be destroyed on the open road. A lift bumper or speed sensitive suspention might work. But too many moving parts will fail. Keep at it. Maybe put the front onto an existing model or incorporate this into one with a sleeper unit. With the back of the sleeper rounded like your cab. The cab concept would be too small for over the road. No place to put tools or extra oil, clothes, food, microwave, fridge, snow chains etc. Keep at it, Edison failed more than he ever got it right. If it can’t be used in America it looks like just the right size for Europe. They still use cabovers because of length restrictions. Good Luck

  19. Novel idea but huge front end is a major issue. Also, being in a “cab bubble” is not a good idea. Trust me: last thing I want to see is a dash when I go to bed.

  20. I have just gained my Category 1 with Air Braking system and am really new, but, I don’t see a way to consideration for the dimension the top side of the automobile…what about the large “blind spot” due to the hugeness of the front? Please recommend as I really like this automobile, but, I would want to have either a front digicam or some type of watching procedure on the top side section.

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