SOURCE: ATDynamics


October 21, 2013 08:07 ET

Semi-Trailers to Automatically Change Shape at Highway Speed to Maximize Fuel Efficiency

ATDynamics Launches "Transformer Trailers" to Bring Intelligent Aerodynamics to the Global Trucking Industry

HAYWARD, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 21, 2013) - ATDynamics, a Silicon Valley based transportation technology company and the leading global supplier of semi-trailer rear-drag aerodynamics equipment, today announced the launch of a new technology that will allow semi-trailers to physically change their shape while driving at highway speed to improve fuel economy and reduce carbon emissions.

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 American public has seen near universal adoption of aerodynamic tractor-cabs on U.S. highways, but 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.

Aerodynamic drag at the back of semi-trailers costs U.S. trucking companies over $2 billion annually in unnecessary fuel expense. Each ATDynamics TrailerTail installed by trucking fleets eliminates the fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to removing one passenger vehicle from the road.

"For over-the-road trucking fleets, which have adopted aerodynamic trucks and installed skirting to reduce aerodynamic drag under their trailers, the single most important remaining fuel efficiency upgrade is the integration of TrailerTail equipment," said Andrew Smith, CEO of ATDynamics. "The TrailerTail AutoDeploy system ensures maximum fuel efficiency at highway speed."

ATDynamics was the first company to pioneer and successfully commercialize TrailerTail technology in 2006, elegantly eliminating the century-old trade-off between aerodynamics and cargo capacity. 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," commented Jeff Grossmann, ATDynamics Vice President of Engineering. "High durability, low-cost aerodynamic components combined with vehicle intelligence will dramatically accelerate industry-wide adoption of high efficiency semi-trailers."

Over 20,000 TrailerTails are currently circulating on U.S. highways and the company expects that number to exceed 50,000 by 2014.

"We should think of freight vehicles as 'transformers,'" commented Smith. "Big rectangular boxes are convenient for carrying and handling cargo, but a tractor-trailer should look like a teardrop when travelling down an interstate."

About ATDynamics, Inc.
ATDynamics is the leading global supplier of semi-trailer rear-drag aerodynamics technology. Its flagship rear-drag reduction technology, TrailerTail, is part of a suite of products engineered to reduce the fuel consumption of the freight transportation industry. Based in Hayward, California, ATDynamics is the recipient of numerous innovation awards and is a founding member of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency. ATDynamics is an affiliate of the U.S. EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership, member of the American Trucking Association's Technology Maintenance Council and is a key partner in the DOE funded Super Truck initiative. For more information visit:   

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