Volvo’s FH truck has led a platoon test of vehicles on a public road in Barcelona, Spain as part of the SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project.
This was the first ever test drive of a road train with both trucks and cars rolling on a public road. The test convoy was able to cover a distance of 200 kilometres (125 miles) in one day.
Andreas Ekfjorden, Project Manager for Volvo Trucks in the SARTRE project and test driver of the lead truck in Spain declared “The truck behaved exactly as expected, and the following vehicles responded just as planned. It was great to be a part of this landmark event.”
In the SARTRE project the trucks use radars and cameras to stay posted on the lead truck maneuvers. The official press release says that “by adding wireless communication, all the vehicles in the platoon ‘mimic’ the lead truck – accelerating, braking and turning in exactly the same way as the lead vehicle”.
The driver of the leading truck has a major role in the SARTRE project as he holds the responsibility for the entire platoon in order to permit the other drivers to relax and follow its lead.
The environmental impact of a road train is lower than that of today’s conventional traffic system, since the following vehicles are close behind the truck and each other and all of them can benefit of lower air drag.
“The focus on driver environment is at the very core of Volvo Trucks’ R&D work. Making the truck a safer workplace and supporting the driver is one of the most efficient ways for us to contribute to road safety. It is also part of our ultimate goal: zero accidents with Volvo Trucks. Our participation in the SARTRE project is a natural extension of that philosophy,” says Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic & Product Safety Director, Volvo Trucks.
The SARTRE project was initiated in 2009 and until now, the vehicles in the project have covered a total of 10,000 kilometers.