Six European truck manufacturers have announced their commitment to implement and demonstrate multi-brand truck platooning over the next three years.

DAF, Daimler, Iveco, MAN, Scania and Volvo Group make up the ENSEMBLE consortium, led by TNO. The consortium says the move will pave the way for the adoption of multi-brand truck platooning in Europe to improve fuel economy, CO2 emissions, traffic capacity and throughput for the road freight sector.

“With the possibility of multi-brand platooning available for trucks driving on European roads, a single truck can form a platoon with any other truck,” stated TNO. “This could result in fuel savings for a large group of vehicles on today’s roads. Moreover, it will influence traffic flow, especially on highly congested corridors. Platoons will appear in normal traffic, causing smoother traffic and higher vehicle density and thus improving road throughput. Thanks to automated dynamic control between the trucks, truck operations are safer and less stressful. At highway entries, exits and junctions platoons will automatically increase vehicle gaps to give way to other road users.”

The project will start half way through 2018 and will last three years. The first year will concentrate on bundling the requirements and development of a reference design. By 2021, multi-brand platoons will be tested on public roads.

The aim of the ENSEMBLE consortium is to ensure safe platooning when using different branded trucks and carry out impact assessment for infrastructure, road safety and traffic flow.