Semi-autonomous trucks will hit European roads next month image

Early next month, the world’s first cross-border initiative involving smart trucks will take place in Europe, to make the regulators aware of the importance of automated driving systems in commercial vehicles.

Smart technologies will bring benefits not only to the light cars segment, but also to commercial vehicles, the truck business says. Therefore, to make the regulators speed up the introduction of “heavy” platoons by putting the subject high on the agenda of EU policy makers, six European truck manufacturers – DAF Trucks, Daimler Trucks, Iveco, MAN Truck & Bus, Scania and Volvo Group – will bring platoons of semi-automated trucks to public roads, crossing borders from various European cities in order to reach their final destination of the Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands, on 6 April. Such cooperation on platooning is vital to prevent countries from creating a patchwork of rules and regulations, which could hinder investments in automated and connected vehicles, says the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. “Looking ahead, it is important that relevant legislation is harmonised throughout Europe and that countries recognise each other’s procedures and requirements.”

Truck platooning is the linking of two or three trucks in a convoy, which are closely following each other at a set, close distance by using connectivity technology and automated driving support systems. The truck at the head of the platoon acts as the leader, with the vehicles behind reacting and adapting to changes in its movement. Truck platooning can help make road transport safer, cleaner and more efficient in the future, having the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 10 percent, according to ACEA.