Scania starts truck platooning trials in Spain and announces Chinese R&D partnership


Swedish truck manufacturer Scania has been conducting real-world platooning tests on public roads with the major Spanish freight transporter Acotral.

Following several months of preparations, Scania and Acotral have worked together to implement the smart freight transport system on Spanish roads, with two three-truck platooning convoys now in regular operation on the haulage company’s Ribarroja-Getafe and Valladolid-Getafe routes.

Acotral currently operates 1,600 trucks with more than 6,000 daily deliveries and is the primary transporter for Spain’s largest food retailer, Mercadona. Following practical and theoretical training for the company’s drivers, a pilot test is now being carried out in actual transport operations on the two routes.

Two convoys, each comprising three vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) connected Scania R 450 trucks are now in operation on the 217 mile-long (350km) route between Ribarroja and Getafe, and 124 miles (200km) of highway from Valladolid to Getafe.

During the platooning trials, the vehicles drive in close proximity to achieve aerodynamic and fuel-efficient formations on motorways. Advanced vehicle technology and software automatically control the distance between the trucks by making full use of V2V connectivity and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Acotral and Scania will continue driving these routes until the end of April, when results will be analyzed to consider the possible extension to additional routes.

Scania has recently announced that it will collaborate with the Chinese company Haylion Technologies, which focuses on solutions for the country’s transport industry in the areas of autonomous driving, electrification and connectivity.

The Scania and Haylion partnership will conduct research in the field of non-fossil fuel powered vehicles (mainly electrified), autonomous driving applications, and sustainable urban bus transport. Haylion’s main focus is developing comprehensive solutions for public transport by electrified, autonomous and connected buses, and since the end of 2017, the company has been conducting trials with intelligent buses on public roads together with the Shenzhen Bus Group.

“This partnership provides us with unique opportunities to contribute to, as well as learn from, the rapid technology development now taking place in China in these strategic areas,” noted Mats Harborn, executive director of Scania’s China strategic office.

“We look forward to combining our knowledge and global perspective with the expertise and ambitions of Haylion Technologies.”

Haylion’s founder and chairman, Dr Jimmy Hu Jianping, added, “I believe that our cooperation with Scania will further promote and accelerate China’s development of intelligent transport and the Internet of Vehicles (IoV).”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).