- Volkswagen Truck & Bus to launch two innovative platooning projects
- Scania awarded contract for a pilot project in Singapore
- Memorandum of understanding signed between MAN and logistics group DB Schenker for platooning project on the German A9 motorway
- CEO Andreas Renschler: “Platooning is an important step towards efficient transportation of goods. Now, the appropriate legislative framework is required.”
- Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions can be reduced considerably on the road
- Road safety improved
Braunschweig, January 17, 2017. Volkswagen Truck & Bus has confirmed its leadership role in truck platooning with two innovative pilot projects.
Scania: pilot project in Singapore
In what is the world’s largest pilot project of this kind, Scania will be developing and testing a comprehensive platooning solution in Singapore. Truck platoons of four trucks each are to cover a distance of ten kilometers on public roads to transport containers between various port terminals. The driver of the first truck will set the speed and direction, with the following three vehicles driving autonomously. This project has been commissioned by the Singapore port authority and the ministry of transport.
Given the high population density and lack of drivers, the Singapore government is interested in new technology-based transportation solutions. During the first phase of the project, Scania will be trialing the technology at its own test facility in Södertälje, Sweden, where it will be customized to meet local conditions. After this has been completed, the second phase will involve testing in Singapore.
MAN: partnership with Schenker DB planned
MAN and logistics specialist DB Schenker are also forging a platooning partnership. It marks the first platooning alliance between an automotive manufacturer and a logistics company. Its purpose is to test platooning under realistic conditions over an extended period of time to gain meaningful data. For this purpose, a truck platoon is to travel on the A9 motorway between Munich and Nuremberg from 2018. In the step that follows, the platoon is to be used at DB Schenker’s facility in Nuremberg.
Given the growing volume of traffic on public roads, there is a strong need for improved traffic flows. The advantages of platooning are obvious: Thanks to the small distance of only ten to fifteen meters between the trucks, fuel savings of up ten percent can be achieved. This also results in a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions. A further advantage is the lower risk of accidents.
Andreas Renschler, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG and Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH, stresses: “The pilot projects are key components of more efficient transportation of goods on the road. Platooning is beneficial for the environment, improves the flow of traffic and increases road safety. What we now need is the legislative framework allowing us to introduce platooning on public roads.”
Joachim Drees, Chairman of the Executive Board of MAN SE and MAN Truck & Bus AG, explains: “Platooning offers clear advantages in terms of fuel consumption and a reduced risk of accidents. The tests performed to date have shown this. Now we want to work with DB Schenker to demonstrate what platooning is capable of in real-life conditions."
Platooning is a vehicle system for the road in which several trucks drive in a convoy with the support of technical driver assistance and control systems. They are linked by an electronic drawbar. The driver of the first vehicles sets the speed and the direction. Each platoon truck has a driver on board who is able to intervene in an emergency. The use of platooning in Europe will be technically possible from around 2020. However, implementation is contingent upon the legislative framework being duly modified in EU countries.
Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG and is a global leader in commercial vehicles with its MAN, Scania and Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus brands. In 2016, the brands of Volkswagen Truck & Bus sold a total of 184,000 vehicles. Its product range includes light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks as well as vans and buses that are manufactured at 25 sites in 17 countries. As of December 31, 2016, the company employed 77,000 people at all commercial vehicle brands worldwide. The Group is committed to driving transportation to the next level — in terms of products, services and as a partner for its customers.