Platooning ENSEMBLE: Together, a reality
1) Meet the project coordinator: TNO
TNO is an independent research organisation in The Netherlands. TNO connects people and knowledge to create innovations that boost the competitive strength of industry and the well-being of society in a sustainable way. We do this in 9 different area’s of which Traffic and Transport is one.
According to TNO, the major challenge is to manage the ever-increasing need for the movement of people and goods. We are therefore working on making urban areas easily accessible, liveable and sustainable to everyone. In our vision, mobility is available to everyone on demand and everyone can participate in traffic comfortably and safely. It goes without saying that the transport of people and goods is safe, efficient and reliable, with the least possible impact on our environment and climate.
2) TNO in ENSEMBLE: what is your role?
TNO has multiple roles in the ENSEMBLE project.
To start with, we are the coordinator of the project and therefore responsible for a successful execution of the project respecting the planned time, quality and budget.
TNO is also WP3 leader, the WP that will implement the specifications into the demonstrator trucks. Within this WP TNO is also in charge of the development and prototyping of the reference tactical layer software and of the prototype V2X communication device.
In WP2, TNO is task leader of the State of the Art overview of platooning and of the specifications task. In WP4, TNO contributes to the service and strategic layer design, and the impact studies on fuel consumption, traffic flow and other road users. In WP5 TNO is task leader of the technical evaluation of the platooning system and of course we also contribute actively to dissemination and the organisation of the final event.
3) What is the core vision and mission behind ENSEMBLE?
The main goal of ENSEMBLE is to pave the way for the adoption of multi-brand platooning in Europe. In our vision multi-brand platooning will speed up the implementation of platoon driving in Europe (because all brands can form a platoon with each other) and therefore contribute to improvements in traffic safety, traffic throughput and fuel economy.
4) Can you explain what truck platooning is, for the less familiar readers?
Truck platooning is the driving of two or more trucks in a convoy by using connectivity technologies and driver support systems in order to make the platoon (the convoy) behave as one connected system.
5) What would you define as the major contribution ENSEMBLE can offer to the transport sector?
The major contribution of the project is the definition of a pre-standard for multi-brand platooning technology across Europe. When deploying this multi-brand platooning we will see an improvement of traffic safety by (1) safer distance control compared to current driving conditions, (2) faster reaction to potentially dangerous braking situations because of V2V and (3) possibilities of coordinated braking manoeuvres. We will also see an improvement of traffic flow by a more stable string of following trucks.