'We want to maintain the energy, generated by the Challenge'

January 20, 2016 261 keer bekeken

‘It’s a start! As from 1 January the Netherlands holds the EU presidency. The wind is in our sails! The network around the EU Truck Platooning Challenge is also generating plenty of energy to implement the platooning concept. And we want to maintain that energy.'

Programme Director Dirk-Jan de Bruijn speaks passionately about the project. ‘We started out as a sort of demonstration project to show that a number of connected trucks could drive along the open roads to Rotterdam from various European cities. Now we have gradually grown into a multi-activity programme. That includes working on the exact route the platoons will take; and the actual landing at the APM Terminals on the Maasvlakte on 6 April in the presence of the Dutch minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, Melanie Schultz van Haegen. Then there is the Invitational Conference on 7 April at the Intertraffic Fair at the Amsterdam RAI: at this substantive working conference we will be developing a roadmap to make truck platooning a fact in the future.’

Next Level Meeting

But the next item on the programme is the Next Level Meeting in Brussels. De Bruijn continues: ‘On 3 February we will be guests of our Flemish colleagues in Brussels. In the spirit of the kick-off in Bordeaux on 7 October, and the Next Level Meeting 1 in Rotterdam on 30 November and 1 December, we and our partners will be taking the final steps towards a successful Challenge.’

The landing

The platoons will land at the APM Terminals on 6 April. ‘That is something we are very pleased with’, says De Bruijn. ‘There is fantastic mutual reinforcement between the logistic processes at the APM Terminals and truck platooning. And this gives the Challenge an added shine with the landing at the APM Terminals. In the meantime, we have had productive discussions with the management team at APM Terminals. An events agency will soon be getting to work to facilitate us with the landing.’

Maintaining energy

Given the energy generated by the Challenge De Bruijn aims to check-out the level of interest in large-scale testing with life cases. ‘A number of signals are coming from the network confirming the need for large-scale platooning testing – and the experience this brings. That enthusiasm deserves recognition.’

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