Sweden4Platooning - Public report

Background: Road trains, also called platoons, have a potential to increase efficiency of goods transportation. In road trains trucks are pulled together using wireless communication, called Vehicle2Vehicle-communication (V2V), directly between the trucks. A secure communication link is established
and data can be shared between the vehicles in the platoon, such as speed, acceleration, retardation, weight and length of the vehicles etc, which is of great importance together with the signals from the onboard sensors when controlling the ego vehicles speed and heading.
There is also a potential to be able to drive with shorter distances between the communicating vehicles. This will reduce air drag resulting in reduced fuel consumption and thereby, reduced environmental impact.
Trucks can be controlled longitudinally as well as laterally in road trains. Due to the possibility of fully automated control of the trucks, drivers can be relieved from the monotonous driving task in motorway environments. Monotonous driving can cause driver drowsiness and by relieving the
driver, incidents and accidents can be avoided. Hence, an increased safety benefit is expected. In a near future these systems can be developed to be able to control the vehicles following the manually driven lead vehicle autonomously and then facilitate unmanned followers. This will probably happen many years before completely unmanned heavy drones runs at speeds of 80 km/h on public roads.
To explore the full potential of truck platooning, trucks from different brands must understand and find each other (they must be interoperable). Further the communication among the members of the platoon must be reliable and robust in all traffic situations and meet the communication requirements on, e.g., capacity and latency, so that a stable platoon operation can be provided.
Results: The Sweden4Platooning project has in a pilot study demonstrated the feasibility of longitudinally controlled platooning trucks from Scania and Volvo (dual brand platooning) at the haulage company Nordanå Transport AB for 12000 km in normal goods transport operation on the public road E4 between Malmö and Jönköping in Sweden.
The project has also demonstrated platooning with both longitudinally and laterally controlled trucks with trucks from Volvo and Scania at the Astazero test site (close to Borås in Sweden)   resulting in follower trucks driven without human intervention.
The V2V protocol developed within the project has been handed over to the EU funded platooning project ENSEMBLE (all seven European heavy truck brands are participating) and this is now the base for further development in this project. Also parts of the Use Case study and Risk Analysis done in the project will be used in the project EU-project.
A platooning Business Case analysis has been performed. The report will be published in a near future. Results in short: The Swedish long distance motorway annual potential is estimated to be some 250 to 300 million SEK in societal costs and up to 600 in corporate costs, evenly distributed between less air resistance and legal speeds. The carbon dioxide decrease value is even bigger at 700 million SEK. Safety and level-of-service effects are deemed positive but very hard to quantify.
Project work: The project work has successfully been performed by the partners Scania CV AB, Volvo Technology Corporation (VTEC), The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), RISE (SICS Swedish ICT at project start), DB Schenker AB and Trafikverket (Swedish Transport Administration). It has
been a very good cooperation all through the project.
The project is funded by the partners and two different program councils at FFI:

  • Trafiksäkerhet och automatiserade fordon / Traffic Safety and Automated Vehicles
  • Effektiva uppkopplade transportsystem / Efficient Connected Transport Systems

The total budget of the project was almost 39 MSEK.
Further research within work package 4 "Off-Board system" will be carried out by KTH throughout 2020 and a final report, with this report as a base added with the results from the research during 2020, will be sent to Vinnova/EUTS 2021-01-30.


Jan Dellrud
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Safer – Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre

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