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In order to keep our roads safe, our cities liveable and our environment clean, the future of traffic needs to change. According to Roland Berger’s automotive disruptor study the Netherlands is in pole position when it comes to implementing autonomous and electric driving. The centre of gravity of the Dutch automotive industry lies in Brainport Eindhoven. This is where the traffic networks and systems of the coming decades are defined. Recently the Brainport EcoTwin consortium has proven that it is technically possible to apply truck platooning on public roads.

Platoon safely just 0.3 seconds apart

The EcoTwin consortium consists of companies DAF, NXP and Ricardo and knowledge institute TNO. Over the past years they have made significant progress in how vehicles communicate with each other, how they react to the sensors (radar, camera and vehicle-to-vehicle ‘V2V) and how the vehicle and platooning controls are connected. Their truck platooning technology now makes it possible for at least three trucks to be connected with each other through datacommunication in order to platoon safely and automatically at just 0.3 seconds apart.

Truck platooning offers clear benefits

Truck Platooning has clear benefits: fuel savings, lower CO2 emissions, improved traffic safety and better traffic flow. It also facilitates the creation of new business models for the efficient use of logistics processes and subsequent cost savings. Because of the technical milestone the consortium has reached in their development process, platooning is now ready for testing on public roads in cooperation with truck manufacturers, service providers, researchers, the authorities and insurance companies

Ideal area for testing and taking products to market

In Brainport Eindhoven different methods are used to test these kinds of vehicles and traffic systems. Because of its highly advanced infrastructure, dense traffic network, real-time traffic management and high 4G penetration rate the region is ideally suited for developing, testing and implementing smart mobility applications. That is why the world’s first shockwave reduction project (applying car2x communication in ‘normal’ traffic) was introduced on a major public highway near the city of Eindhoven. This highway is equipped with cooperative roadside units. Besides this government regulation concerning testing cooperative and connected driving offers a lot of room for testing.