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Two or three trucks driving in convoy on a motorway; from 2020, it will become an increasingly familiar sight for road users. This foresight is part of the Vision Truck Platooning 2025, drafted by TNO and Rijkswaterstaat in collaboration with various stakeholders from the European Truck Platooning network. The Vision – visualised in an 2D/3D animation - has been presented during the European Truck Platooning Conference on 7 April 2016.
The Netherlands leads the world in truck platooning – small convoys of freight vehicles using electronic coupling. The second or third truck in the platoon follows at a very close and automatically replicates the actions of the driver in front: braking, accelerating, steering. Improving traffic safety, lowering costs, reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and optimizing road capacity.
Truck platooning is an extremely promising innovation for the transport sector. The technology is already sufficiently advanced to enable large-scale cross-border trials to be conducted in actual motorway traffic conditions in 2016. Between 2016 and 2025, the number of roads on which platooning occurs will increase significantly. It will start on national motorways and European ITS corridors and then gradually expand to make cross-border platoons possible on the TEN-T network, followed by all European motorways and main roads. Although platooning will initially be possible only between trucks of the same brand (mono-brand), there will soon be platoons of trucks of different manufacturers (multi-brand). The number of trucks will also increase from an initial two-truck platoon to longer convoys. The attractive business case will ensure that the technology is quickly adopted. Consequently, by 2025, truck platooning will be a completely normal and accepted phenomenon on European motorways.
Truck platooning will be possible only if many parties join forces. Numerous different issues are involved: reliably automated vehicles, the technology to enable trucks to communicate with each other and with the infrastructure, legislation, human behaviour, public acceptance, liability and insurance.
The Vision Truck Platooning 2025 is the result of a 24-hour workshop organised by Rijkswaterstaat and TNO. 15 complementary experts of various stakeholders from the EU Truck Platooning network participated such as OEMs, knowledge institutions, logistics service providers, policy-makers, road authorities, industry representatives and insurance companies. Together they worked on the Vision Truck Platooning 2025 that was presented during the European Truck Platooning Conference on 7 April.
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