What: Vehicle platooning
TNO works together with industry and government on the technology that makes automated driving practicable. For both passenger cars and trucks. Cooperative and affordable. Safe and reliable. Tests on the public road will have to demonstrate that automated driving boosts traffic safety, improves traffic flow, saves 10-20% fuel and thereby reduces CO2 emissions.
Driving in ‘train carriages’ is part of automated driving. Vehicles driving close behind each other reduces fuel consumption, from the last and the first in the train. The distance between the trucks is optimized to reduce air drag. The transport sector is tracking developments in this area very closely; it hopes that through techniques like trucks driving in columns or ‘platooning’, as the jargon calls it, the sector can stay at the head of its international rivals. The trucks communicate with Radar, GPS and WI-FI.
Here, too, public road tests in real traffic will have to demonstrate that the automatic driving of trucks not only makes road transport more efficient and green but also safer. TNO is striving together with the sector and the government to enable such tests to happen in 2014 and 2015.