Bringing rail expertise to Europe's Truck Platooning Challenge

Bringing rail expertise to Europe's Truck Platooning Challenge
05 April 2016

Experts from Ricardo Rail’s Utrecht office have played a key role in supporting the first ever European Truck Platooning Challenge, an initiative demonstrating the potential for automated driving technology in the road haulage sector.

Platooning involves driving convoys of two or three road haulage vehicles at short distances apart in wirelessly-connected ‘platoons’.

Studies show that reducing the gaps between vehicles - and taking advantage of slipstreaming - could lead to fuel savings of up to 10%, as well as improvements in safety and the overall flow of road traffic.

In a unique project, organised with the cooperation of manufacturers, governments, road authorities and research institutes, the Truck Platooning Challenge has seen a number of demonstration platoons travelling along public roads, with each team scheduled to arrive in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on April 6th 2016. 

Ricardo is taking part in the Challenge in a consortium called 'EcoTwin', alongside DAF Trucks, TNO and NXP. 

With autonomous road transportation yet to develop formal standards and legislation of its own, our role has been to use our experience of automated rail systems to advise on the functional safety of the supporting technology.

More in-depth information about our contribution can be found in a news release in the Ricardo media centre

To view a short film about the EcoTwin Platooning team:

The Truck Platooning Challenge is part of the Dutch government’s work to promote Smart Mobility as a central tenet of its European Union Presidency (from January to June 2016). Further details about the Challenge can be found on its official website: