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Platooning and road train

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Technology Description

Platooning and road trains are solutions to reduce energy consumption in road freight transport by reducing aerodynamic drag. Platooning refers to trucks that closely follow each other, and are equipped with state-of-the-art driving support, forming a platoon of trucks driven by smart vehicle communication and automation (CAV) technologies. This allows trucks to drive closer together at near-constant speeds, which reduces air resistance (and thereby fuel consumption) and increases the capacity of roads. The fuel savings of truck platooning are estimated to range from 5% (at 20 metres distance) to 15% (at 4 metres between trucks) for a three-truck platoon travelling at 80 km/h. Among the challenges is the operation of multi-brand trucks in a single platoon, requiring communication standards. A road train consists of several trailers hauled by a single tractor.

Relevance for Net Zero

Whatever the truck powertrain technology, platooning is a cost-effective strategy (''smart'' technology'). It can contribute to the reduction of energy consumption of the road freight sector by 4-15% and can reduce traffic congestion.
(Sources: https://clepa.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/CLEPA-Platooning-Panel-A4-V4-HD.pdf ; http://www.nrel.gov/transportation/fleettest-platooning.html )

Key Countries

Netherlands, United States

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