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Europe to host world’s first cross-border truck platooning initiative

Six manufacturers will participate in semi-automated truck challenge

PHOTO: Scania is one of the six manufacturers participating in the platooning challenge. Credit: Supplied

Europe is set to host the world’s first cross-border initiative with smart trucks, involving six truck manufacturers, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

The European truck-makers will bring platoons of semi-automated trucks to public roads, as part of the European Truck Platooning Challenge. The platoons will cross borders from various cities to reach their final destination of the Port of Rotterdam on April 6.

“The overall objective of this [challenge] is to accelerate the introduction of truck platoons by putting the subject high on the agenda of EU policy makers,” the ACEA said.

The challenge is organised by the Netherlands and fosters collaboration between truck manufacturers, EU member states, logistics service providers, road operators, research institutes and government entities.

Truck platooning refers to the linking of two or more trucks in a convoy, such that the vehicles closely follow each other at a fixed, close distance by using connectivity technology and automated driving support systems. The truck heading the platoon acts as the leader, with the vehicles behind reacting and adapting to changes in its movement.

The practice allows for air drag to be reduced, and can potentially reduce CO2 emissions by up to 10%.

The manufacturers participating in the challenge are DAF Trucks, Daimler Trucks, Iveco, MAN Truck & Bus, Scania and Volvo Group, the ACEA said.

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