Automated logistics
Mobility & Built Environment

Catalyst: making road transport more sustainable with connected automated transport

In cooperation with

Partners from business, public authorities, and knowledge institutions

The CATALYST Living Lab is a community, knowledge hub, and applied research programme. With more than 40 partners from business, public authorities, and knowledge institutions, its aim is to improve the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of the logistics sector. We do this by developing, testing, and improving Connected Automated Transport (CAT) innovations for freight road transport using simulations and practical experiments.


In the CATALYST Living Lab, we look at those CAT innovations that create both social and economic value for road transport. These include innovations enabled by improved connectivity and automation, such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), truck platooning, duo trailers (Super EcoCombi), intelligent traffic light systems, and autonomous vehicles for both enclosed areas and public roads.

In the Living Lab, market players, public authorities, and knowledge institutions collaborate to develop, evaluate, monitor, and implement valuable solutions. In doing so, we help logistics partners in end-to-end supply chains to assess CAT’s impact and accelerate innovation, contributing to safer, more efficient, and more sustainable transport and logistics.

CAT’s contribution to sustainability

Specifically, the Living Lab is contributing to the following studies:

  • quantifying the impact of truck platoons on fuel consumption and driver behaviour and determining requirements for logistics integration
  • testing Super EcoCombis by supervising the testing process (in collaboration with carriers, shippers, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Rijkswaterstaat, and assessors), quantifying the impact on fuel consumption and emissions and determining the impact on physical infrastructure
  • quantifying fuel effects and emissions reductions at intelligent traffic lights
  • clarifying (through simulations) the application of autonomous and electric smart dollies (in combination with logistics concepts such as decoupling points) for efficient and sustainable logistics hubs.

Want to make road transport more sustainable?

Find out how we can make road transport more sustainable together.

Attention to organisational and social innovation

Technological innovations alone will not get us there. Achieving the intended ambitions in terms of safety, efficiency, and sustainability requires a multidisciplinary approach (see figure). In CATALYST, we mainly build on previously developed vehicle technologies. We focus on what is needed for integration in logistics by harnessing organisational and social innovation in the areas of the supply chain, users (such as planners and drivers), policy and regulations, physical and digital infrastructure, and data.

Orchestrating Innovation makes innovations succeed

Create social and economic impact with major innovation and transition programmes.

Orchestrating Innovation for successful multi-stakeholder innovation

Using the Orchestrating Innovation approach that we developed at TNO, we shape a joint roadmap and determine the sequence in which activities are carried out. By doing so, we aim to ensure commitment to join forces over a long period of time, increasing the chances of the successful implementation of CAT innovations in day-to-day operations in the logistics sector.

Want to know more? Then be sure to have a look at the CATALYST website.