Scania and Ericsson team up on platooning


Swedish companies join forces to use 5G networks in the future of platooning

Scania and Ericsson team up on platooning
Scania and Ericsson are hoping to push the platooning boundary.

 

Truck maker Scania and communications technology company Ericsson have announced a joint research venture to bolster vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication.

Unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the companies say they are focusing on advancing communication technology and the deployment of 5G networks that will aid the efficient transport of people and cargo.

The director of strategy and business development at Scania’s connected services and solutions division Håkan Schildt says growth in LTE and 5G technologies has created an opportunity for dedicated vehicle-to-vehicle communications using a reliable mobile network.

"We’ve been speaking about introducing vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications for quite some time but now it’s really taking off," says Schildt.

"We now see greater prospects for reliable communications through mobile networks."

The objective furthers Scania’s current platooning concept, which organises trucks and their trailers into a close driving formation to tackle drag and fuel consumption.

According to the truck maker, current legislation makes it possible to drive in formation through radar and cruise control technologies but further savings could be found by narrowing the gaps between vehicles – savings that would legally require vehicle-to-vehicle communications and interconnected control systems.

The end goal is for system-wide platooning, which would organise road network users in terms of routes and schedules, and allow vehicles to join and leave platoons depending on their requirements.

"In view of the enormous benefits, we’re convinced that vehicle-to-vehicle communications will be implemented by transport operators of all types," Ericsson head of automotive Claes Herlitz says.

"Addressing the challenges posed by growing passenger and freight volumes, enhanced communications can contribute to greater logistics efficiency and thereby reduced environmental impact."

Scania and Ericsson say that their research has shown communications are reliable using the established 4G, and future 5G, networks.

 

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