Walmart has introduced a concept big-rig truck that may change the face of trucking as we know it ... literally.
Called the WAVE, an acronym for Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience, the retail giant's concept rig looks like it came right out of a sci-fi movie. And its design could help the company save big on fuel costs.
The vehicle's cab has a sliding driver's door and a center-mounted steering wheel in place of the traditional left- or right-side placement of the steering wheel.
The 53-foot trailer is made out of carbon fiber panels. (Walmart claims this is the first time carbon fiber panels this long have been manufactured.) Its rounded front end provides additional storage space and helps with aerodynamics, which could amount to fuel savings.
Walmart says the rig is a hybrid that pairs a microturbine engine with an electric motor. Since the company already owns a fleet of more than 6,000 trucks, according to Wired, even a small fuel efficiency gain can save the company a lot of money on fuel costs in the future.
Walmart did not elaborate about the specific fuel efficiency gains its innovative concept rig might bring to the trucking market. CEO Doug McMillon wrote on the company blog that the WAVE "may never make it to the road," but he said the concept model "will allow us to test new technologies and new approaches."
Check out Walmart's video (above) to see the rig in action.