Trucks Drive Themselves

While self-driving cars from Google or Ford get most of the credit for capturing the public imagination, about a dozen trucks from major manufacturers like Volvo, Scania, MAN and Daimler just completed a week of largely autonomous driving across Europe. The trucks were taking part in the European Truck Platooning Challenge, organized by the Dutch government as one of the big events for its 2016 presidency of the European Union.

The trucks left their manufacturer’s home base last week and arrived in the Dutch port of Rotterdam on Wednesday, driving public roads among regular traffic. The trucks were equipped with state-of-the-art driving support systems – one closely following the other. This forms a platoon with the trucks driven by smart technology, and mutually communicating.

Truck Platooning comprises a number of trucks equipped with state-of-the-art driving support systems – one closely following the other. This forms a platoon with the trucks driven by smart technology, and mutually communicating. Truck platooning is innovative and full of promise and potential for the transport sector.

With the following trucks braking immediately, with zero reaction time, platooning can improve traffic safety. Platooning is also a cost-saver as the trucks drive close together at a constant speed. This means lower fuel consumption and less CO2 emissions. And, lastly, platooning efficiently boosts traffic flows thereby reducing tail-backs. Meanwhile the short distance between vehicles means less space taken up on the road. At the same time the impact of truck platooning goes far beyond the transport sector. Automated driving and smart mobility also offer realistic chances to optimise the labour market, logistics and industry.

Platooning can reduce fuel use by up to 15%, prevent human error from causing accidents, and reduce congestion. According to a study by research firm TNO, two trucks driving 100,000 miles in tight formation could save almost $7,000 on fuel.

For more information visit eutruckplatooning.com