Hyundai Wins "Luminary" Award at Red Dot With Trailer Drone Concept: It's 100% Autonomous

Trailer Drone 10 photos
Photo: Hyundai Motors
Trailer Drone Hydrogen SetupTrailer Dronee-Bogie with TrailerTrailer DroneTrailer DroneTrailer Drone VariationsTrailer Dronee-Bogie AdaptationTrailer Drone
Back in 2021, Hyundai Motor Group showed off their plans to lead the hydrogen tide with a commercial vehicle idea that, most recently, has even won the Red Dot Award. This is the Trailer Drone.
Yes, folks, Hyundai Motors has officially won three prized honors at the Red Dot Award show held in Germany recently. But it’s the “Luminary” honor that stands out the most as it accompanies this manufacturer's Trailer Drone concept. Why is this a big deal? It's basically the highest award that the famed show offers. Oh, if you’ve never heard of this machine, it’s nothing more than a fully autonomous hydrogen design that can carry an array of cargo options. Time to explore a bit of what our society has in store for the future.

Now, until a few days ago, I hadn’t heard of the Trailer Drone, but once I witnessed the video below, I was left uttering the word “wow.” My colleague was looking over my shoulder in utter silence too. Everything starts off with a few flashing images the particularities of the Drone and the words dictating its newly acquired award title.

It’s then on to the little things that make this business solution what it is and what it can do. It’s here that we can really comprehend why Hyundai received the award that it did. We can see a small sample of the flow of hydrogen throughout this vehicle’s body and where that hydrogen is stored.

Trailer Drone
Photo: Hyundai Motors

But, beyond that, our attention is driven to the e-Bogies that we see under each cargo container and, at one point, even e-Bogies carrying individual loads. Hyundai does mention that the trailer configuration is only possible with two Bogies working together. If you haven’t viewed the video yet, now’s the time, as these things are rather amazing. Working in unison, lateral parking seems to be a breeze, saying goodbye to cluttered shipping yards and loading docks.

Best of all, the e-Bogies can be utilized for an array of activities, not just shipping cheese from the northern states to the southern ones. Hyundai proposes that they can be modified to aid in firefighting, rescue missions, and even construction sites. Nonetheless, as a cargo solution, this thing can crank out 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of range on a single charge.

As for the autonomous aspect of these things, the classics such as LIDAR, GPS, and countless other hardware and software ensure that the Trailer Drone can safely maneuver through town even if some pedestrian decides to dash across the street without warning; everyone is theoretically safe. These buggers even look like they communicate with one another to ensure mass transit is possible, as it should be. Sounds like the sort of idea to take the show for sure. After all, this is what you should expect when a team like Hyundai plans the future of transportation on this level.

Trailer Drone Variations
Photo: Hyundai Motors
Nonetheless, Hyundai isn’t the only crew that’s exploring clean energy and alternative means of fueling our vehicles. BMW has been tinkering with hydrogen for years too, and Porsche really seems to like their electricity. Even Volkswagen is in on the alternative solutions game. Maybe not on the same level as this concept, but you get the idea.

One thing is for sure, if all goes to Hyundai’s plan, once 2040 rolls around, those in the trucking business may need to step aside for fully automated vehicles like the Trailer Drone. That raises the question: who should be primed and ready to occupy vacant workforce positions? None other than people who have had joysticks in their hands most of their lives and programmers. Gamers, do you hear me!? You've got around 18 years to prepare for new jobs.

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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