Semi-autonomous trucks converge on Rotterdam

Iveco Stralis Hi-Way trucks in truck platooning challenge

State-of-the-art heavy goods vehicles from Iveco are travelling from Brussels to Rotterdam as part of the European Truck Platooning Challenge.

Iveco is participating in the world’s first cross-border initiative using semi-automated trucks in the European Truck Platooning Challenge. The initiative, organised by The Netherlands as part of its ongoing Presidency of the Council of the EU fosters 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.

As a member of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), which is actively supporting and participating in the Challenge, Iveco joins five other European truck manufacturers travelling via platoon from various European cities to an event culminating on April 6 in Rotterdam. The challenge represents a unique opportunity for a test run with other road users in real life conditions, with Iveco deploying two Stralis Hi-Way, from the Atomium in Brussels to the Port of Rotterdam.

Truck platooning consists of two or more trucks closely following each other in order to reduce the aerodynamic drag of the convoy by exploiting the slipstream of the lead vehicle. Each truck of the platoon is equipped with an advanced sensing platform based on radars, cameras and GPS (Global Positioning System), with enhanced safety systems such as CACC (Cooperative Adaptative Cruise Control) and Advanced Emergency Braking System, and is capable of communicating and collaborating with the other trucks in the convoy by means of automotive Wi-fi technology.

Pierre Lahutte, Iveco Brand President, commented: “Iveco is committed to facing the technical challenges at a 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. Platooning represents for Iveco a step into the future to keep providing our customers with the most sustainable transport systems”.

Iveco demonstrated truck platooning on the test track in 2003 within the Chaffeur 2 Project, funded by the 5th Framework Program of European Union. Coming forward 13 years, the objective now is to increase the importance of truck platooning and provide a wider understanding of the associated benefits. Platooning can help make transport safer, cleaner, and more efficient, alongside reducing fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions by up to 10%.

Truck platooning is also part of the industry’s integrated approach to further reducing CO2 emissions. This approach looks at all elements that affect emissions when operating a truck. Besides the vehicle itself, trailer design, the use of alternative fuels, logistics, infrastructure and intelligent transport systems (such as platooning) all play a decisive role in bringing down CO2 emissions.

After a need to explore new ideas and an increase in stakeholder attention, the scope of the European Truck Platooning Challenge is to elevate cross-border cooperation across Europe, to secure long-term targets for the transport industry, and place the subject high on the agenda of EU policy makers.

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