Volvo Concludes First SARTRE Vehicle Platooning Demo Test

The first successful demonstration in the EU-financed SARTRE project was carried out recently at the Volvo Proving Ground in Sweden, the automaker announced today. The key feature in the project is based on vehicle platooning, which is a convoy of vehicles where a professional driver in a lead vehicle is closely followed by several cars.

"SARTRE is a very exciting project with future potential for saving fuel and improving traffic safety," said Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic and Product Safety Director at Volvo Trucks.

The tests, first to be carried out outside the simulators, included a lead truck and a single following car (Volvo S60). The lead truck was a 6x2 Volvo Automated FH rigid with a 13-litre engine, which comprised all the safety systems currently offered by Volvo Trucks, including ESP (Electronic Stability Program), Lane Keeping Support, Driver Alert Support, Lane Change Support and Adaptive Cruise Control.

It was also equipped with other safety systems currently being tested in various EU-financed research projects, such as HAVEit and Intersafe2.

In vehicle platooning, each car measures the distance, speed and direction and adjusts to the car in front. All the vehicles are totally detached from one another and can leave the procession at any time. However, once in the platoon, drivers can relax and do other things while the platoon proceeds towards its long-haul destination.

"Platooning offers the prospect of improved road safety, better road space utilization, improved driver comfort on long journeys as well as reduced fuel consumption and hence lower CO2 emissions. With the combined skills of its participating companies, SARTRE is making tangible progress towards the realization of safe and effective road train technology," stated Ricardo UK Ltd's Tom Robinson, SARTRE project coordinator.
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