5G V2X – Communication for Platooning
The project aims at designing key enabling technology – inter-vehicular (V2X) communication protocols – for platooning, which is an emergent future smart mobility solution.
Truck platooning is linking of trucks on highways in convoy through connectivity. The truck at the head of the platoon acts as the leader, with the vehicles behind reacting and adapting to changes in its movement requiring little to no action from drivers. Platooning relies on vehicle-to-vehicle cooperation and cannot be implemented with the use of local vehicular sensors only – its performance is only achievable through V2X communications.
The project addresses the following societal needs:
- Cleaner transport. Truck platooning lowers fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. When trucks can drive close together, the air-drag friction is reduced significantly. According to the recent study by ERTICO, platooning can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 16 percent from the trailing vehicles and by up to 8 percent from the lead vehicle. Scania reports an averaged figure of 12 percent.
- Safer transport. Platooning helps to improve safety since braking by the vehicles following the leading one is automatic and V2X communications delays are shorter than human reaction times. Moreover, wireless communications allow enabling braking of all the platoon vehicles almost instantly instead of reacting one by one what prevents rear-end collisions.
- Efficient transport. Platooning optimises transportation by using roads more effectively, delivering goods faster and reducing traffic jams. In certain situations the driving range of vehicles can also be extended.
Best current practice is that all platooning trucks are from the same brand. Platooning using European ITS-G5 standards to be able to platoon trucks of different brands is under development by ongoing VINNOVA project Sweden4Platooning. Our project improves it further through the focus on the use of future 5G cellular infrastructure instead. Stockholm will be one of the first cities to have 5G technology rolled out already in 2018 by TeliaSonera and Ericsson. This project contributes to long-term competitiveness of Sweden, not only by supporting strategically important autonomous driving application, but also by developing forefront use-case to utilize this new 5G infrastructure.
According to EU Roadmap for truck platooning technology by European Automobile Manufacturers Association, standardisation of communication protocols for platooning should be finished in 2021, what perfectly matches the timeline of our project. Regulatory changes and enabling policy measures required for platooning should be ready by 2023, what opens possibility for market introduction. The state-of-the-art platooning technology belongs to Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) automation level 2: the driving automation systems performs both longitudinal and lateral vehicle motion control simultaneously, but all the drivers must monitor the driving environment. Further evolution of platooning by 2030 will be to introduce SAE automation levels 3-4 allowing the driver of a trailing truck to rest. Also platoons will operate in more complex environments like sub-urban roads and cities. This will require further evolution of V2X communication protocols and our project will have a long-term impact on future research in this direction.
January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2020
The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research