On 1 June, the ENSEMBLE consortium officially started its activities towards the implementation and demonstration of multi-brand truck platooning on European roads. As it paves the way for the adoption of multi-brand truck platooning in Europe that will improve fuel economy, CO2 emissions, traffic capacity and throughput for the road freight sector, the results of ENSEMBLE provide new opportunities with societal and economic impact. Through real-world testing across national borders, the impact on traffic, infrastructure and logistics will be assessed, whilst gathering relevant data of safety-relevant scenarios and the corresponding harmonisation of approval requirements required. The challenging journey began with a kick-off meeting in Eindhoven.
Accelerating multi-brand truck platooning
During the first year, the project partners will concentrate on setting the specifications and developing a reference design with acceptance criteria. This reference design will be taken up by the OEMs and suppliers for implementation on their own trucks during the second year, while the knowledge partners will perform impact assessments with several criteria. Year three of the project will focus on testing the multi-brand platoons on test tracks and international public roads. The technical results will be evaluated against the initial requirements. Also, the impact on fuel consumption, drivers and other road users will be established. In the end, all activities within the project aim to accelerate the deployment of multi-brand truck platooning in Europe.
Since the first discussions between project partners and eventually the approval of the project proposal by the European Commission, ENSEMBLE has received growing attention from multiple parties in the logistics sector and Ministries of Transport all around the world. ENSEMBLE is confident about achieving the defined results, through pre-competitive collaboration, required for the next level of innovation in transport & logistics.
Ronald Paul, Chief Operating Officer at the Port of Rotterdam: “Port of Rotterdam is partner in a European truck platooning project because it contributes to our ambition to offer sustainable solutions, through innovation, for traffic safety and swift accessibility of our port.”
Mark Frequin, Director General of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management: ” The Ensemble project will play a key role in the development of truck platooning, since it will lay the foundation for multi-brand truck platooning. This is a necessary step towards large-scale deployment of this technique. The Ministry follows the developments of truck platooning closely because of the promising perspective that it will contribute to traffic safety, fuel efficiency and therefore CO2 reduction.”
The ENSEMBLE Partners
The ENSEMBLE project is led by TNO. All six European truck manufacturers will bring in their pre-eminent technological position on platooning: DAF, DAIMLER, IVECO, MAN, SCANIA and VOLVO Group (VOLVO TRUCKS & RENAULT TRUCKS). CLEPA represents the suppliers of automotive equipment and components and will support research, innovation and deployment as drivers for industrial growth. the following suppliers are also a partner of the project: NXP, ZF, Bosch, Continental, Brembo and WABCO.
ERTICO – ITS Europe, being the platform for the cooperation of all relevant stakeholders to develop and deploy ITS in Europe, will ensure outbound focus by involving stakeholders and by being the link to the European Truck Platooning Community. The consortium is completed by the knowledge partners: IDIADA (validation and legal challenges), IFSTTAR (impact assessment on infrastructure, traffic flow, road safety and perception by users and logistics), KTH (platooning services) and VU Brussel (platooning business case). This project is partly funded by the European Commission.