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Truck Platooning technology ready for the public roads

EcoTwin consortium: trucks drive at 0.3 seconds apart, automatically and safely • 31 Oct 2017

The EcoTwin consortium of TNO, DAF, NXP and Ricardo has proven the technical feasibility of Truck Platooning on public roads. The technology enables at least three trucks connected with each other through datacommunication to platoon safely and automatically at just 0.3 seconds apart. This milestone means that, in cooperation with truck manufacturers, service providers, researchers, the authorities and insurance companies, platooning is now ready for testing on public roads. Truck Platooning has clear benefits:  fuel savings, lower CO2 emissions, improved traffic safety and better traffic flow. It also facilitates the creation of new business models for the efficient use of logistics processes and subsequent cost savings.

Logistics and road traffic nowadays require an innovative, safe and intelligent kind of goods transport. Europe is the world leader when it comes to Truck Platooning. In April 2016 TNO and Rijkswaterstaat (Dept. of Public Works) drafted a Vision of Truck Platooning 2025. Consultation with fifteen different stakeholders from the European Truck Platooning network led to a clear vision of the future. The partners of EcoTwin consider that the time is now ripe to put this vision into practice.

Future of Truck Platooning

Truck Platooning involves trucks driving a short distance apart using specially developed technology for automated driving. In the EcoTwin innovation project of TNO, DAF, NXP and Ricardo significant progress has been made in how vehicles communicate with each other, how they react to the sensors (radar, cameras and and vehicle-to-vehicle ‘V2V’) and how the vehicle and platooning controls are connected. The distance between the trucks can thus be brought down to 0.3 seconds without any hazard risk to the drivers and other traffic.

Daan de Cloe, Director Mobility & Logistics at TNO: “We have reduced the headway to such an extent that the platooning system must and can make all the decisions and must continue to do so if something untoward occurs. To exploit the full potential of trucks it is essential to drive separated by the minimum distance yet still retain comfort and safety in all circumstances. Collaboration with EcoTwin has successfully demonstrated that this is possible and therefore all the partners can take the next step of testing this innovative logistics concept on public roads. Together with the various partners, we are looking to make Truck Platooning technologically and legally feasible on a large scale in 2020.”

For more information on Truck Platooning and the contributions of the participants within the Eco Twin Consortium check out this video:

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