Scania is to take the lead role in a three-year European research project to develop a system for implementing truck platooning on roads.
Platooning involves maintaining a convoy of trucks so that the each truck is closely, and safely, followed by the next.
The aim is to test the entire system on Spanish roads during the autumn of 2016.
Over the past two years, Scania has implemented platooning concepts in its own transport operations and has shown that fuel savings of up to five per cent can be achieved through reduced drag.
The European Union has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 20 per cent by 2020. Heavy vehicles currently account for 17 per cent of total CO2 emissions.
Through the €5.4 m Companion research project, the partners will identify means of implementing the platooning concept in practice in daily transport operations.
The project also includes Volkswagen Group Research, Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology, Oldenburger Institut für Informatik in Germany, IDIADA Automotive Technology in Spain, Science [&] Technology Corporation in the Netherlands, and Spanish haulage company Transportes Cerezuela.
“We hope that this project will increase awareness in Europe of the many advantages of platooning,” said Sven-Åke Edström, senior vice president, truck, cab and bus chassis development.
“Platooning will require standardised support systems as well as legislative action that will be clarified in this project.”
Depending on the transport assignment, haulage companies will be able to identify the optimal route with regard to fuel consumption. Through an integrated system, drivers will receive information on where they can join and leave platoons.
The project will pay particular attention to how information is presented to drivers regarding where they can join and leave platoons.
The project will also propose common EU regulations permitting shorter distances between trucks in the platoon. The shorter the distance, the greater the fuel saving that can be achieved. However, this would require vehicles to be interconnected through wireless communication systems.