ACEA: ‘Eager to bring cutting-edge technology to Europe’s roads’

December 17, 2015 322 keer bekeken

ACEA represents the 15 Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers, including all six truck manufacturers participating in the European Truck Platooning Challenge.

According to Erik Jonnaert, Secretary General of ACEA, one of the main reasons for joining the initiative is to highlight the cutting-edge technology that ACEA members are eager to bring to Europe’s roads.

ACEA also sees the Challenge as a great opportunity to demonstrate platooning’s added value to society. “Think of benefits like more and ongoing improvements in safety, optimising traffic flows and reducing fuel consumption, plus CO2 emissions,” states Erik Jonnaert. We put five questions to him.

 1. What is ACEA’s contribution to the partnership?

“ACEA’s contribution mainly comes down to taking care of the overall coordination between the truck manufactures. For example, this includes aligning all members on common baseline standards for the Truck Platooning Challenge. ACEA is keen to be an active player in this initiative, in order to make truck platooning a familiar sight in the not too distant future.”

2. Did you encourage your members to join the Challenge? If so, why?

“Definitely, we think it is important that Europe’s truck manufacturers take part in the Challenge. This is all about fostering cooperation at the European level. We can only do this, and learn from each other, if all relevant stakeholders join forces. Self-evidently those stakeholders include our manufacturers, member states, and the European institutions. At the same time, it is vital to work together with various national road and vehicle authorities.”

3. What’s in it for the truck manufacturers?

“For Europe’s truck manufacturers, the Challenge is an excellent platform from which to address some of the barriers currently preventing the realisation of platooning. We also see this initiative as an opportunity to develop a common roadmap, to define a European framework, and to learn from mutual experience. At its core, the Platooning Challenge is a showcase for technology, although we hope the European Commission will follow up on our initial findings with EU projects to collect scientific data.”

4. The European Truck Platooning Challenge is more than a challenge; it is also part of developing a long-term vision on innovative mobility in Europe. Could you describe its strategic importance?

“This initiative provides a unique opportunity for our industry to conduct large-scale testing with platoons of trucks in various EU member states. Improving cooperation between manufacturers and the authorities is key to this. The Challenge is a platform enabling all partners to mutually reinforce their efforts. This is a truly European project, because platoons will cross national borders on public roads for the first time ever.”

5. What are some of the crucial elements that could potentially make or break this Challenge?

“It all stands or falls with the exemptions. To be able to drive platoons across Europe, the various national road authorities will have to provide exemptions. From the manufacturers’ perspective it is crucial to demonstrate that platooning is feasible on public roads. The fact that all truck makers are taking part in this initiative sends a clear message about the industry’s commitment to investing in the future of road transport in Europe.”

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