Seven trucks, well prepared by the major European OEMs, will gather on the hilly Sitges highways and drive together in a fully coordinated platoon, demonstrating the result of a three-year development that started in June 2018. This public event will take place on 23 September 2021 in the Barcelona region, Spain.
The basis of this realization is the especially developed V2V (Vehicle to Vehicle) communication protocol that supports the correct behaviour and reaction of each of the trucks in the platoon for every envisioned traffic use case. This protocol, which enables platooning technology to improve road safety, driver assistance and traffic fluency, is a significant step forward to fully connected automated driving.
Step-wise testing of ENSEMBLE’s platooning scenarios took place after the implementation of the technology by each of the involved OEMs. Passing each OEM’s mono-brand testing plan, the subsequent results of preparatory triple-brand tests, and finally the planned seven-brand test at the Spanish Idiada proving ground generate the necessary positive data for the European road authorities to quickly consider these new transport modes to drive on their networks. For the live event in September, the Spanish road authorities approved the proposed exemptions on the existing regulations.
The ENSEMBLE platooning support function guarantees that drivers behave according to their existing regulations and that road users feel safe when entering or exiting highways. Related Hazard and Risk Analysis (HARA) complemented the exemption process.
The ENSEMBLE project carried out several supporting studies on the impact of road infrastructure and traffic behaviour to ensure no unusual wear out or unexpected road conditions occur.
The ETPC (European Truck Platooning Challenge) multi-stakeholder platform confirms the ENSEMBLE support function in line with its VISION 2022, a jointly developed insight into how platooning technology can hit the roads in 2022.
Apart from the current so-called ‘Platooning Support Function’, the European multi-brand team continues its efforts on the next step: specifying a fully ‘Autonomous Platooning’ functionality, aiming for cost reduction through less driver presence and lower fuel usage.
The dates of three upcoming ENSEMBLE events are:
- 23 September 2021: ENSEMBLE public live event where you learn all about the technical results and standardization.
- 11-15 October 2021: ENSEMBLE @ the ITS World Congress Hamburg, explaining and demonstrating its contributions to CAD and Transport Automation.
- Beginning of 2022: ENSEMBLE final event at the Port House Antwerp revealing and discussing the business impacts for the future transport industry.
For further information on the upcoming ENSEMBLE events, keep an eye on the ENSEMBLE project website.
The draft agenda of the public demonstration on 23 September can be found here.
The ENSEMBLE project has received funding under grant agreement 769115 of the H2020 programme. The main goal of the ENSEMBLE project is to pave the way for the adoption of multi-brand truck platooning in Europe to improve fuel economy, traffic safety and throughput.