A fleet of self-driving trucks from major manufacturers like Volvo and Daimler has completed the first ever cross-border trip made by a convoy of largely autonomous vehicles. This feat, which saw the trucks drive across Europe, is the first such major exercise on the continent. The trucks which took off from Belgium, Germany and Sweden, arrived in Rotterdam, Holland, April 7.
The concept behind this “smart truck platoon” involves a set of vehicles, connected by WiFi, driving in a “column.” The truck at the head of the column sets both the speed and route of those behind it, with synchronized breaking and shorter gaps between the trucks two key features. However, convoys from different manufacturers use different Wi-Fi systems, preventing various brands from platooning together.
The trucks were taking part in the European Truck Platooning Challenge, organized by the Dutch government as one of the big events for its 2016 presidency of the European Union.