Artificial Intelligence

Platooning demo to unveil the future of transportation

29th March 2016
Joe Bush

NXP Semiconductors and the European truck manufacturer DAF will demonstrate platooning, a future traffic management technology, on public roads in Belgium and the Netherlands. The demonstration is part of the European Union International Truck Platooning Challenge, an event organised by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

The challenge is designed to bring autonomous platooning one step closer to implementation by showcasing economic, traffic management and safety advantages. In addition, it will also address the need for legislation and harmonisation of standards for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) across Europe, as current rules and regulations regarding speed and distance vary throughout the European Union.

The demo will take place at the DAF Axle and Cab factory in Westerlo, Belgium, on Tuesday, 5th April. With the Belgian Minister of Transport, Jacqueline Galant, in attendance, DAF and NXP will test and discuss this future autonomous driving technology for European roads. Truck platooning involves trucks driving a short distance apart (0.5 seconds at 80km/h) – much closer than the human driver would allow.

The Truck Platooning Challenge will demonstrate that a second vehicle automatically follows based on a ‘follow-the-leader principle’ using wireless Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications Technology (Wifi-P), radar and cameras. This presents benefits in terms of fuel consumption and therefore CO2 emissions, safety and the flow of traffic. It also considerably improves the fleet efficiency as the drivers in platoons (except for the lead vehicle driver) can rest.

A consortium of DAF Trucks, TNO, NXP semiconductors and Ricardo is uniting under the name EcoTwin to participate in the European Truck Platooning Challenge. Galant will kick-off the DAF/NXP platoon on 5th April, which will leave for Rotterdam, where the challenge will finish the next day.

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