Don’t be scared: If you currently find truck in much too close distance on the highway, then that’s okay. This is called Platooning and is the future of freight. Controls only the riders at the top, the other truck follow automatically. Six convoys roll currently to Rotterdam.
Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt sent a one convoy trip in Munich to Rotterdam. Six teams are currently underway in the Dutch port city. And they stand out: just 15 meters, each truck from his front man.
Nevertheless, the driver is quite relaxed, even more: he can the legs struck each other and let the arms dangle. As if by magic the vehicle makes its way unwaveringly.
Footprint shrinks to half, lower fuel consumption and better timing.
But a magic has nothing to do with. The second truck, and even a third one, which goes afterwards, hang on an electronic shaft. The vehicles communicate with each other via Wi-Fi. You do everything with the help of the driver assistance systems for the front man. The distance remains the same, collisions are impossible.
Platooning call this the truck manufacturers who pursue yet another goal with this technique. Fuel consumption falls by ten percent, and thus also the emissions. Such a convoy takes up significantly less space. Three vehicles about have a total length of 80 meters. 150 meters are common because the safety distance to the vehicle in front must be respected. The road is used so effectively. Congestion that increasingly occur because of growing freight transport, are so rare. At least that is the hope.
Platooning electronics come on 2017 as standard in new trucks.
Now Daimler, MAN, Scania, Volvo, DAF and Iveco test the Platooning on a star trip to Rotterdam in normal traffic. The convoy started on Monday at the respective master seats of the companies. The German vehicles, two man, three of Daimler, made by Munich and Stuttgart the way.
On April 6 they gather in the Dutch port city. Aims, all vehicles supplied by the next year, to provide an electronic tongue. At least the Volkswagen daughters of MAN and Scania are committed, as has VW Executive Board stressed Andreas Rentschler at the start of the two MAN trucks in Munich.
Electronics reacts faster than people
Worried that decreases the traffic safety by Platooning, are unfounded. While a truck driver has a response time of more than one second, the commands such as braking need just 0.1 seconds before they arrive at the bland.
Even if new vehicles by next year with the electronic tiller are equipped, but only tentatively be Platooning. An adaptation of the regulatory framework in those countries that allow the automated driving is necessary. Experts believe that by 2020, it may succeed.