Volvo trucks synchronise in platooning challengeby John Bambridge on Mar 24, 2016
Volvo Trucks has participated in the ‘European Truck Platooning Challenge’ initiated by the Dutch Presidency to drive a truck convoy separated by just a one-second gap in order to boost efficiency.
Drag accounts for up to 25% of a truck’s total fuel consumption, and the closer the trucks drive to each other, the greater the fuel-saving potential.
The idea of platooning is to have truck fleets communicate wirelessly and automatically match each other’s speed and braking – closing the gap between them and improving their fuel economy.
Although counterintuitive, having trucks match each other’s speeds is also a safety-boosting feature.
“Essentially, this means that the reaction time for braking is reduced to zero, which in turn improves safety and minimises the ‘accordion effect’ in connection with traffic congestion,” says Anders Kellström, Project Manager for Volvo’s participation in the EU Truck Platooning Challenge.
It is currently not possible to utilise the advantages of platooning on Europe’s roads, since legislation in the various countries governing the safe driving distance between trucks differs.
The Netherlands initiated the European Truck Platooning Challenge to highlight the changes required in European transportation legislation that would facilitate the introduction of platooning.
The Volvo Group is participating by driving three trucks in a platoon from Gothenburg to Rotterdam.
Kellström adds: “We believe that platooning offers major advantages for our customers, but also for society in fuel savings, reduced emissions and enhanced transportation efficiency. We need to tackle the harmonisation of legislation, and in so doing promote the introduction of platooning in Europe.”
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