On Thursday, representatives from the Netherlands will meet with the EU in Rotterdam to define potential changes to legislation to make self-driving cars a reality in Europe. This comes at the end of a successful trial where a platoon of trucks was connected over Wi-Fi, with the first vehicle determining the speed and route of the trucks.
The European Truck Platooning Challenge included six brands of automated trucks – DAF Trucks, Daimler Trucks, Iveco, MAN Truck & Bus, Scania and Volvo Group – driving in columns (platooning), on public roads from several European cities to the Netherlands. There are a number efficiencies with this model. By closing the gap between each truck, for example, those behind the lead driver benefit from decreased wind resistance and therefore better fuel economy.
According to Telecompaper, Dutch companies Unilever, Albert Heijn, and Jumbo are already in talks with the government and transport sector on using truck platooning in their operations. Successful trials like this, and improved legislation around these level 3 (semi-autonomous) vehicles in traffic, could smooth the acceptance and desire for autonomous personal vehicles.