EcoTwin sets off for the European Truck Platooning Challenge23 March 2016

DAF Trucks, NXP, Ricardo and TNO are the names behind the EcoTwin consortium, which is another of the participants in the European Truck Platooning Challenge, organised by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

EcoTwin is using Wifi-P, developed by NXP for automotive applications, for the inter-truck automated communications, which, says the consortium enables the two DAF trucks involved to minimise the distance between them.

Wifi-P also allows the truck drivers to communicate with each other while driving – and everything that the driver in the first truck sees in front of him is projected onto a screen in the second truck.

“This is definitely not a process that will be complete before 2020,” comments says DAF board member Ron Borsboom, who is responsible for product development.

“There is still a great deal that has to be sorted out in terms of legislation, liability and acceptance,” he explains.

“But, in conjunction with TNO, NXP and Ricardo, we will be demonstrating that truck platooning is technically possible [to help] pave the way for truck manufacturers to be allowed to carry out further testing on public roads and acquire even more experience.”

Platooning involves harnessing automated driving technology so that trucks can drive as short a distance as possible apart.

The Truck Platooning Challenge is intended to demonstrate that a second vehicle is technically capable of automatically following a lead combination –in this case using Wifi-P, radar and cameras.

Although the second vehicle is technically capable of steering automatically, for this Truck Platooning Challenge, the emphasis is on autonomous acceleration and braking.

The planned distance between the pair of combinations represents 0.5 seconds – meaning 10 metres at 80kph – thus maximising the effect of slipstreaming, which leads to claimed fuel and CO2 savings of up to 10%.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
DAF Trucks Ltd
NXP Laboratories UK Ltd
Ricardo UK Ltd

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