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The Truck that Doesn't Need a Driver (Just a Sitter)

Road trains aren't exactly new, especially if you ask truckers who pull multiple trailers through the Australian outback, but the KAMAZ Flex Futurum concept promises to add some high-tech improvements to the road train concept.

For starters, the Flex is driven by fuel cells. It can also change its configuration by extending up to 20 meters (from a minimum of 7.5) to create more space for freight. The "driver” is actually an overseer of sorts, on-hand to provide human intervention in case the automated driving system can't cope with emergencies.

Effectively a passenger, the driver sits on a cradle hanging from the front cabin's ceiling. The seat can do a 180 and move directly behind, providing access to moderately luxuries such as a bath, a kitchen, and even a wardrobe. A heads-up display working through the windshield supplies real-time trip feedback. The generous driver amenities probably let the driver watch a movie or listen to music to pass the time, too.

No working prototype of the KAMAZ Flex Futurum is even planned as of this writing so it looks like designers Elena Petrova and Konstantin Fedoroc hedged their forward-looking bets by pushing projected applications of this concept to 2040.

Flex Futurum 2040: Caterpillar train for the road