ENSEMBLE partners launch project to trial multi-brand truck platooning on European roads


The European Union (EU) co-funded ENSEMBLE project has officially started its activities that will lead to the implementation and demonstration of multi-brand truck platooning on European roads over the next three years.

Led by the Netherlands scientific research organization TNO, the project aims to demonstrate that truck platooning will improve fuel economy, CO2 emissions, traffic capacity and throughput for the road freight sector, with the end results of ENSEMBLE providing new opportunities that could have profound societal and economic impact. Through real-world testing across national borders, the impact on traffic, infrastructure and logistics will be assessed, while gathering relevant data of safety-relevant scenarios, and the corresponding harmonization of the type approval requirements required. The project has launched with a kick-off meeting at Eindhoven in the Netherlands, which was attended by the partners in the ENSEMBLE consortium, including all six European commercial truck manufacturers.

Running from 2018-2021, during the first year, the project partners will concentrate on setting the specifications and developing a reference design with acceptance criteria. This reference design will be taken up by the OEMs and suppliers for implementation on their own trucks during the second year, while the knowledge partners will perform impact assessments with several criteria. Year three of the project will focus on testing the multi-brand platoons on test tracks and international public roads. The technical results will be evaluated against the initial requirements. The impact on fuel consumption, drivers and other road users will also be established. In the end, all activities within the project aim to accelerate the deployment of multi-brand truck platooning in Europe.

The project will involve:

All six European truck manufacturers will provide their existing platooning technologies – DAF, Daimler (Mercedes), Iveco, MAN, Scania, and Volvo Technology (Volvo and Renault truck brands);

CLEPA (European Association of Automotive Suppliers) represents the suppliers of automotive equipment and components and will support research, innovation and deployment as drivers for industrial growth;

Technology suppliers include – NXP Semiconductors, ZF, Bosch, Continental, Brembo, and WABCO;

The consortium is completed by knowledge partners that includes – IDIADA (validation and legal challenges), IFSTTAR (impact assessment on infrastructure, traffic flow, road safety, and perception by users and logistics), KTH (platooning services), and VU Brussel (platooning business case).

In its role as the platform for cooperation of all relevant stakeholders to develop and deploy new transportation technologies, ERTICO – ITS Europe, will ensure outbound focus by involving stakeholders and by being the link to the European Truck Platooning Community.

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James joined the Traffic Technology International team in 2017. Previously he was Assistant Editor on an engineering title for several years and has worked for various other trade magazines before that. James is happily married and has a young daughter and son who keep him busy.