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Research & Technology

The first networked truck platoons are driving on Germany’s A9 highway

In the logistics industry, a research project by DB Schenker, MAN Truck & Bus, and the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences is entering the test phase. From now on, digitally networked truck convoys will be driving on the test field A9.

06 Jul. 2018
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The first networked truck platoons are driving on Germany’s A9 highway (Photo: BMVI)

The logistics provider DB Schenker , together with its cooperation partners MAN Truck & Bus and the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences sent two digitally networked trucks on the first test drive on 25 June. The truck platoon started in Neufahrn near Munich across the digital test field highway A9 . This is the first practical application of networked truck convoys worldwide.

The trucks are connected by an “electronic tow bar” in car-to-car communication and, thanks to driver assistance and control systems, can travel in close succession in a convoy. The platoons will conduct test drives up to three times daily on the 145 km long route from now on. The platooning technique is to be further optimized with regard to system safety and fuel consumption as part of this test phase. The project partners hope for important findings in the areas of automation and digitization of commercial vehicles as well as autonomous and networked driving. The psychological, social and physical impact on drivers is being researched by the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences at the same time.