Together with all other European truck manufacturers, Scania will join the EU-funded Ensemble initiative to implement and demonstrate multi-brand truck platooning.
When multi-brand platooning in Europe becomes possible, a single truck can form a platoon with any other truck to achieve fuel savings. Platooning with higher vehicle density will also improve the traffic flow, especially on highly congested roads.
The Ensemble consortium, led by TNO, the Netherlands organisation for applied scientific research, will seek to ensure safe platooning with trucks of different brands. The impact on fuel consumption, drivers and other road users will also be established.
A significant step
“The Ensemble project represents a significant step on the way to on the road multi-brand platooning,” says Jan Dellrud, Senior Technical Advisor at Scania’s pre-development and research of autonomous truck systems. “We now have sufficient technical experience of mono-brand platooning, and even in certain cases also of dual-brand platooning. However, we still need to develop and verify common systems encompassing all manufacturers.”
For full scale multi-brand platooning, the industry needs to harmonise not only vehicle-to-vehicle communications but also various systems to ensure that the vehicles follow a smooth and straight pathway. “This necessitates a fundamental understanding of all the relevant parameters in order to set common standards, which will pave the way for implementation.”
The Ensemble project involves actual testing of platoons across national borders, the impact on traffic, infrastructure and logistics will be assessed. Safety data will be collected as guidance for needed harmonisation of requirements.
Testing multi-brand platoons
By 2021, the project will focus on testing multi-brand platoons on test tracks and public roads with a final demonstration of multi-brand platooning converging towards the Port of Rotterdam.
In addition to TNO and the six European trucks manufacturers DAF, Daimler, Iveco, MAN, Scania and Volvo, the partnership also includes automotive suppliers, research institutes and leading universities.