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Summer 2019

Truck and Track



platooning to market maturity. We want to make the processes

even safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly, all

along the value chain. The drivers have a key role to play here. In a

digital truck, they will bemodern logistics specialists. This will open

up new prospects for the profession.”

Doll believes platooning possible on 40%of

kilometers operated by land transport

According to DB Schenker’s research, platooning can be used

extensively in the logistics network. Alexander Doll, Member of the

Management Board for Finance, Freight Transport and Logistics at

Deutsche Bahn AG said, “We have analyzed our European transport

network and it is safe to say that around 40% of the kilometers

traveled could be carried out in platoons.” For this, however, further

tests and ensuring the regulatory framework would be necessary.

Customers would also benefit. “With platooning we can offer even

more reliable transports.”

The platooning system installed in the MAN trucks operated

smoothly 98% of the time. Active interventions by the driver were

necessary only once every 2,000 kilometers, which is much less

than expected. In addition, the pilot project demonstrated a 3 to

4 percent reduction in fuel consumption. “We were able to show

that platooning has the potential to contribute to the reduction of

fuel consumption and CO


emissions. First and foremost, we are

pleased that the system works reliably and can increase safety on

the motorway. Accordingly, platooning is an important step for us

on the way to automation,” said Joachim Drees, Chairman of the

Management Board of MAN Truck & Bus SE.

Scientists confirm that drivers feel safe

Scientists from the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences

investigated the psychosocial and neurophysiological effects on the

drivers. Having experienced the actual field test brought about a

significant change in the previously sceptical attitude of the drivers.

“A general sense of safety and trust in the technology is echoed in

the drivers’ assessment of specific driving situations. None of these

were described as uncontrollable,” said Professor Sabine Hammer

from the Institute for the Science of Complex Systems (Institut

für komplexe Systemforschung, IKS) at the Fresenius University of

Applied Sciences. The drivers experienced vehicles of other road

users cutting in from adjacent lanes or cutting across multiple

lanes as “disagreeable”, but not critical. “Due to the fast response

times of the system, drivers would now prefer a distance of 10-15

meters,” said Hammer.

“The EEG measurements show no systematic differences

between platoon runs and normal runs when it comes to the

neurophysiological stress placed on drivers, i.e. in terms of

concentration or fatigue,” said Professor Christian Haas, Director

of the IKS. For international use, the scientists recommend further

research with longer periods in platooning mode.

The project partners are convinced that the potential of truck

platooning can be further increased by future developments. In

addition, new digital business models in logistics are conceivable.

How platooning works

The term “platooning” refers to a system that vehicles use on

the road in which at least two trucks drive in a tight convoy on a

motorway, supported by technical driving assistance and control

systems. All vehicles driving in the platoon are electronically linked

to each other. The truck in front sets the speed and direction, and

the others follow.

The participants of the platooning-project presented the research results at the final event at

the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in Berlin (l.t.r.):

JoachimDrees, MAN Truck & Bus, Alexander Doll, Deutsche Bahn, Dr. Tobias Miethaner, Federal

Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Andy Kipping, Truck Driver DB Schenker,

Prof. Dr. Sabine Hammer and Prof. Dr. Christian Haas, both Hochschule Fresenius.

With over 35,000 test kilometers traveled Platooning has

demonstrated a 4 percent reduction in fuel consumption