The trucks have been travelling in lock-step platoons, in Iveco’s case running from the Atomium in Brussels to the Port of Rotterdam, arriving today (6 April 2016).
The initiative – organised by The Netherlands as part of its ongoing presidency of the Council of the EU – is aimed at fostering European cooperation among transport stakeholders, including truck manufacturers, member states, logistics service providers, road operators, road and vehicle approval authorities, research institutes and governments to demonstrate a new model of transport that is safer, cleaner, and more efficient.
“Iveco is committed to face the technical challenges at vehicle level, and promotes 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,” states Pierre Lahutte, Iveco brand president.
“Platooning represents for Iveco a step into the future to keep providing our customers with the most sustainable transport solutions.”
Iveco first demonstrated truck platooning on a test track in 2003 as part of the then Chaffeur 2 project, funded by the fifth Framework Program of European Union.
Fast forward 13 years and the objective now is to ramp up the focus on truck platooning.
For Lahutte, truck platooning is part of the industry’s integrated approach to further reducing CO2 emissions.
Apart from the vehicle itself, that means including consideration of trailer design, alternative fuels, logistics, infrastructure and intelligent transport systems.
Truck platooning consists of two or more trucks closely following one another to reduce the aerodynamic drag of the convoy by exploiting the slipstream effect.
Each truck is equipped with an advanced sensing platform based on radar, cameras and GPS, with enhanced safety systems such as CACC (Cooperative Adaptative Cruise Control) and AEBS (Advanced Emergency Breaking System).
They communicate and collaborate with other trucks in the convoy by means of automotive Wi-fi technology.