WABCO joins ENSEMBLE consortium to develop advanced safety technologies for multi-brand platooning in Europe

4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 28, 2018

WABCO Holdings Inc. announced at IAA Commercial Vehicles 2018 that it had joined the ENSEMBLE consortium to develop advanced safety technologies for multi-brand platooning on roads in Europe. This, in addition to WABCO‘s close collaboration on the platooning programmes of two global original equipment manufacturers, headquartered in Europe, marks another industry milestone towards autonomous driving for commercial vehicles on highways.

WABCO and these leading OEM customers are contributing to the ENSEMBLE innovation consortium which is seeking to develop and demonstrate multi-brand truck platooning in Europe. The ENSEMBLE consortium, co-funded by the European Union, will facilitate platooning-related technologies involving trucks from different manufacturers.

WABCO is further differentiated as being the only supplier within the ENSEMBLE consortium that is able to offer turnkey solutions for the integration of braking and advanced driver assistance systems required to enable platooning for convoys of trucks. WABCO is contributing to the consortium through its sophisticated systems integration capabilities – a reflection of its technology leadership and domain expertise.

WABCO will support the ENSEMBLE consortium‘s development and testing of multi-brand platooning by delivering platooning algorithm and connectivity enhancements for WABCO‘s OnGuard autonomous emergency braking systems (AEBS), active cruise control (ACC) and WABCO‘ s electronic braking system (EBS). This helps support faster responses from stability and dynamic systems, thereby enabling a following distance as close as 0.5 seconds between each truck. WABCO is the first OEM-independent supplier of active collision mitigation and autonomous emergency braking systems, with more than 450,000 OnGuard safety systems sold worldwide.

In addition, WABCO‘s innovative advanced braking functionality now provides valuable brake performance estimation. This, together with WABCO‘s innovative use of a vehicle-to-vehicle communication link, helps in the optimum pairing of two or more trucks, allowing multi-brand platooning combinations. The ENSEMBLE consortium targets development of solutions developed with the purpose of bringing them in series introduction as early as possible.

While its initial focus is on Europe, WABCO also expects to roll out its platooning-related innovations to other regions, including China and North America.

Within the ecosystem of transport across industry sectors, commercial vehicle platooning can improve fuel economy and reduce emissions due to the reduced aerodynamic drag for paired trucks. WABCO estimates that a two-truck platooning configuration operating at safe following distance can improve fuel economy for commercial fleets by more than 7 percent.

Furthermore, platooning trucks and trailers equipped with WABCO OptiFlow™ aerodynamic technologies can achieve additional fuel savings up to 7 percent in Europe.

Jointly funded as a public and corporate initiative, the ENSEMBLE consortium is expected to demonstrate multi-brand truck platooning on public roads in 2021 and to assess the impact of platooning on infrastructure, road safety and traffic flow. Funding from the European Union is through Horizon 2020, the EU‘s largest ever research and innovation program.