DAF trials RoadLink technology in European platooning challenge

One of six truck makers to take on the platooning challenge, DAF is powered by NXP technology

DAF trials RoadLink technology in European platooning challenge
From left to right, Christophe Leurident (advisor Belgian mobility minister Galant), Ron Borsboom (director of product development DAF), Maurice Geraets (director new business NXP), Leo Kusters (managing director urbanisation TNO), Gert Liefting (managing director Ricardo Netherlands).


DAF Trucks will demonstrate a vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications solution called RoadLink, created by NXP Semiconductors, in the inaugural EU Truck Platooning Challenge 2016, a European cross-border truck platooning initiative taken up by six manufacturers.

The focus of the EcoTwin consortium, a joint effort by NXP, DAF, TNO and Ricardo who came together for the demonstration, Roadlink uses wireless communications standard IEEE 802.11p combined with NXP radar technology, to allow trucks to travel in a close platoon formation, reducing drag and fuel consumption.

Senior vice president of car infotainment and driver assistance for NXP Torsten Lehmann says the company is proud its RoadLink technology and its radar solutions will form part of the European initiative.

"We’re honoured to be part of the European Truck Platooning Challenge as a key partner and provider of the secure vehicle-to-vehicle and radar technologies for the DAF trucks – DAF and other truck platoons will use our technology to complete their journey safely and effectively," he says.

 "As a clear industry leader in driving adoption of Vehicle-to-X technologies, NXP is helping to improve fuel efficiency, emissions, safety, and traffic flow in the European Union, while avoiding accidents and saving lives."

The automated technology, providing a means for the trucks to communicate in a high-speed fashion, means the trucks can travel 0.5 seconds behind the vehicle in front and still have time to brake.

With braking times 25 times that of a human, NXP says RoadLink allows a truck travelling at 80km/h to sit 10m behind the truck in front.

Built into the mirrors of the DAF trucks, the NXP V2V system has four channels of communications and can provide read-time video and bi-directional audio communication between vehicles.

"The audio allows the drivers to talk to each other without relying on other communication channels, such as cellular networks," a NXP media statement says.

"Furthermore, the V2V powered camera in the lead truck streams what it ‘sees’ to the driver in the trailing truck, providing a clear look at the road ahead."

DAF, who are participating in the challenge with Scania, Volvo, MAN, Daimler, and Iveco, says both the technology and society still has a way to go before it can hit the market.

"This is definitely not a process that will be complete before 2020," DAF Trucks' board of management member responsible for product development Ron Borsboom says.

"There is still a great deal that has to be sorted out in terms of legislation, liability and acceptance.

"This demonstration should pave the way for truck manufacturers to be allowed to carry out further testing of the technology on public roads in order to acquire even more experience.

"It is now up to politicians to make this possible."

Iveco has also shown off its platooning trucks, launching two heavy-duty Iveco Stralis trucks from Brussels on a journey to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where they will meet the other five manufacturers.

According to Iveco, the launch was attended by Belgium's federal minister of mobility Jacqueline Galant; the deputy head of cabinet for Belgium's chief state secretary for road safety Dirk Quina; and Iveco Trucks portfolio management director Giandomenico Fioretti.

Scania kicked off the challenge last month, launching its trucks in Sweden on a 2,000km trip through Denmark, Germany, and Belgium to the Netherlands.



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