After three years of development, the ENSEMBLE project presents results: the development of the technologies that have made possible the first connected multi-brand truck platooning on European motorways. Applus+, one of the global leaders in inspection, testing and certification, is part of this project co-funded by the European Union.
A truck platoon consists of several trucks driving one behind the other, forming a convoy. They are equipped with state-of-the-art driving support systems, with intelligent technology that allows them to communicate with each other.
Platooning technology has come a long way in the last decade, but to take the step towards the deployment of intelligent truck convoys, a comprehensive multi-brand approach was needed to develop technologies, procedures and protocols shared by all actors in the industry. The ENSEMBLE project has involved major European truck manufacturers, system manufacturers, engineering companies such as Applus+ IDIADA and road and traffic authorities.
ENSEMBLE paves the way towards the adoption of connected multi-brand truck platoons in Europe and contributes to the harmonisation of legal frameworks between Member States. The implementation of this type of mobility solution makes it possible to reduce fuel consumption and, therefore, pollutant emissions by 4-10%, as well as improve safety and traffic in the transport of goods on motorways.
Applus+ has been responsible for the functional safety strategies of the communication systems between trucks, which ensure that they are reliable and robust in all traffic conditions. It has also analysed the current legislative framework in Europe and made recommendations to the European Commission to adapt it to this type of application. The prototypes have been tested on Applus+ IDIADA’s tracks in Tarragona and on the motorway, with the collaboration of the Directorate General of Traffic and the Catalan Traffic Service (Servei Català de Transit).
The presentation of the results of the project was held on 23 September at the Fira Hotel Barcelona. The event included a demonstration of the formation of a convoy, which was recorded and broadcast live. The event could be followed free of charge in person and online.
Josep Maria Farran, Executive Vice President of Applus+'s IDIADA division, said "This is one of the first semi-autonomous driving applications to reach the market. This type of project is essential to continue advancing in a cohesive way towards safe and sustainable mobility through the transversal application of new technologies and therefore for the benefit of society as a whole".