The ENSEMBLE project ends after 4 years of technology development on multi-brand truck platooning
The ENSEMBLE consortium held its final public event on 17 March to mark the end of the 46-month project on 31 March. The event was an occasion to discuss the achievements and the results of the project with experts and high-level speakers, contributing to the debate about the adoption of multi-brand platooning in Europe.
The ENSEMBLE project developed and deployed, in a live environment, a multi-brand platooning technology agreed between all leading European truck manufacturers. The specification of an ad hoc vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication protocol was the key elementto ensure the correct behaviour in every traffic situation of every truck in the platoon.
ENSEMBLE also defined two truck platooning functions: platooning as support function (PSF) and platooning as autonomous function (PAF). PSF is based on tested technology and is able to cope with all the different use cases encountered in current traffic. PAF has been defined only on theoretical terms, but it represents the intermediate step between a support function and a fully autonomous truck. In both cases, the V2V connectivity among the trucks acts as an enabler contributing to the automation of the following vehicles.
At least 15% of all trucks from the current traffic volume could potentially benefit from platooning since they are already within the following distance defined by the ENSEMBLE platooning support function. The digitalisation enabled by platooning enhances possibilities for road authorities to monitor and regulate freight transport under certain conditions, giving them the opportunity to influence the parameters within which trucks drive on their roadways. Road capacity and traffic fluency will also benefit from this truck platooning technology, particularly where trucks represent a large part of the traffic e.g. industry area or port area.
The joint action and excellent collaboration of all ENSEMBLE partners played an instrumental role in the development of the technologies to ensure a safe deployment of truck platoons on European roads.
“ENSEMBLE EU-funded project demonstrates that truck platooning would be one of the key factors towards sustainable road transport and it paves the path to improve logistics services”, Georgios Sarros, Project manager, Horizon Europe Transport, CINEA, European Commission stated.
“ENSEMBLE European flagship project on multi-brand platooning has contributed to the competitiveness of the European industry, the improvement of energy efficiency for trucks and traffic management”, Patrick Mercier – Handisyde, Senior Policy officer, Future Urban & Mobility Systems, DG RTD, European Commission stated.
“The next logical step for us is now to refer to the harmonised format for the exchange of data for platooning developed in ENSEMBLE”, Antony Lagrange, Team Leader Automated/Connected vehicles and Safety DG GROW, European Commission specified.
“Thanks to the excellent collaboration between all the partners in the ENSEMBLE EU Project, significant technology advancements have been possible, enabling trucks of different brands to communicate with each other for the formation of a platoon. The contribution of the suppliers involved in the project has been fundamental for the creation of a communication protocol leading to the implementation of the platooning functionalities in the different trucks, and paving the way for smarter, safer and more efficient road transportation in future”, said David Storer, CLEPA’s Director for Research, Innovation, and New Mobility.
“After almost four years of research and development, Europe has now created a common solution ready for standardisation. This means an important step forward in the direction of improved traffic safety, efficiency and reduced fuel emissions. As TNO, we are very proud to have made a significant contribution to this”. Dr Marika Hoedemaeker, ENSEMBLE Project Coordinator, TNO stated.
“Platooning brings the connectivity and automation components together in one use case. We had the honour to co-steer this project since its inception with the European Truck Platooning Challenge organised by the Dutch Presidency of the EU back in 2016. The project has delivered additional insights in technology and innovation. It was also an inclusive project with the relevant market actors and associations”, Joost Vantomme, CEO ERTICO-ITS Europe asserted.
ENSEMBLE project started in June 2018 and will end on 31 March 2022. With a total funding of EUR 25 million, the project is co-financed by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 Programme under the grant agreement No. 769115. ENSEMBLE involves European truck manufacturers, representatives of the suppliers of automotive equipment, suppliers supporting the OEMs, research institutes and umbrella organisations and has a consortium made of 19 partners: TNO (Coordinator), Applus IDIADA, Bosch, Brembo, CLEPA, Continental, DAF trucks, DAIMLER trucks, ERTICO- ITS EUROPE, IVECO, KTH, Universite’ Gustave Eiffel, MAN, NXP, Renault Trucks, Scania, VOLVO, VUB and ZF.
In: CLEPA News, Research & Innovation