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Daimler autonomous trucks complete cross border trip to demonstrate benefits of platooning

ABR Staff Writer Published 08 April 2016

Three connected and autonomous Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks have completed a cross-border trip from Stuttgart to Rotterdam, to demonstrate that platooning helps in saving fuel and reducing harmful emissions.

Daimler Trucks

The move is aimed at supporting the initiative European Truck Platooning Challenge 2016 initiated by the Netherlands government.

Daimler trucks & buses division head and a board member Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard said: We consider platooning as meaningful part of the integrated approach in which all stakeholders in road transport contribute to reduce fuel consumption and CO2.

"Driving in a convoy is one of numerous examples to raise the performance of goods transport extensively with connected trucks. Today already 365 000 commercial vehicles of Daimler are connected. We are consequently pushing this development."

Daimler trucks will demonstrate the benefits of electronic vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) networking cross border on the way to Rotterdam

The technology allows the trucks to maintain a gap of just 15 metres between them, instead of 50 metres required earlier.

The smaller distance will significantly reduce the aerodynamic drag, resulting in fuel savings. Going forward, platooning is expected to emerge as one of innovative solutions to transport more goods.

Besides, platooning will cut the space occupied by trucks on the highways sharply, making the road traffic safer.

ACEA secretary-general Erik Jonnaert said: "Platooning also reinforces the leadership position of our automotive industry in terms of new technology; this also boosts Europe's competitive position in the global marketplace.

"Meanwhile, there are still plenty of barriers in place, that hinder the launch of this technology. With this in mind it is good that the Netherlands has taken the lead in positioning these topics high on the European agenda.

"Cooperation within the EU is crucial in preventing the development of a patchwork of local rules and procedures, strangling progress."

Image: Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks driving in a connected convoy (truck platoon) using the Highway Pilot Connect system.2016 Daimler AG