Iveco joins four other HGV suppliers in a demonstration of the benefits of driving in close formation as part of the European truck platooning Challenge.
This week sees the European Truck Platooning Challenge in action as platoons of heavy goods vehicles converge on Rotterdam in the Netherlands from different starting points from within Europe.
Amongst the participants is Iveco with its semi-autonomous Stralis Hi-Way heavy goods vehicles. They are taking part in the challenge by driving in platoon formation from Brussels to Rotterdam to demonstrate that such a mode of driving is beneficial to safety, the environment and operational efficiency.
The concept of platooning is for large vehicles to drive in close formation with each following the other and benefiting from reduced aerodynamic drag from the vehicle in front. In order to achieve sufficient drag reductions, the driving distances between the vehicles needs to be closer than would be safe for an unassisted human driver.
For this reason, the vehicles are fitted with advanced radar sensors, cameras and GPS positioning as well as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and a communication system to enable the on-board computers to communicate and collaborate with each other within the convoy.
Commenting on the work Iveco is doing on platooning to provide its customers with sustainable transport systems into the future, Iveco’s Pierre Lahutte commented, “Iveco is committed to face the technical challenges at the vehicle level and is promoting an integrated approach with the other transport stakeholders to address open topics such as the revision of regulations and the compatibility with infrastructures and other road-users.”
As part of the EU funded Chaffeur 2 project, Iveco has already demonstrated HGV platooning in a test track environment and is now taking part in the cross-border challenge to generate a wider understanding of the benefits, which are to make freight transport safer, cleaner and more fuel efficient.
Platooning is just one aspect of truck design and operations that can be used to reduce emissions and is being developed alongside such other factors as the use of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and trailer design.