A convoy of self driving trucks arrived in the Dutch port of Maasvlakte as part of experiment known as European Truck Platooning Challenge. This challenge demonstrates the future of transport in Europe as according to the organizers.
There are six different manufacturers involved in this challenge, namely Daimler, Volvo and Scania among the others. Scania is a subsidiary of Volkswagen. Initially each convoy set off from different locations then when the trucks reached motorways where traffic more or less consistent throughout, they travelled in a convoy. Each of the truck, whether it is the leading truck or the following truck, has a human driver on hand. Scania group travelled the longest distance, more than 2000 kilometres which covered Sweden, Denmark, Germany and then its final destination in the Netherlands.
There are a few advantages of a convoy. One of them is that both the leading truck and the following truck uses on average 10 percent less fuel per journey. On top of that by doing it using autonomous driving technology, it could lead to fewer traffic accidents as according to a whitepaper from TNO, a Dutch research firm, 90 percent of driving accidents caused by human error.
There are still more works need to be done to make this into a reality. Cross border rules as well as protocol for setting up a convoy need to be established. All these will be discussed in an informal meeting of the European transport council on April 14th.