DB Schenker and MAN agree on platooning project

DB Schenker and MAN have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop networked truck convoys and test their use in real operating conditions. 

In 2018, DB Schenker and MAN plan to operate a truck platoon on the Digital Motorway Testbed on the A9 motorway between the DB Schenker branches in Munich and Nuremberg. The second phase will involve the deployment of self-driving trucks on the DB Schenker grounds in Nuremberg.

Jochen Thewes, Chairman of the Management Board of DB Schenker, said, “Our target is to become the driver of digital business models in the transport and logistics industry and to be the provider of choice for customers seeking both digital and non-digital services”.

Ewald Kaiser, Member of the Management Board for Land Transport at DB Schenker, added, “The project focuses on customer demand for completely transparent as well as faster and more eco-friendly processes. On the whole, we expect this to deliver a significant increase in efficiency by linking up new solutions with the logistics processes of our customers. We believe that networked and automated driving has enormous potential.”

Joachim Drees, Chairman of the Executive Boards of MAN SE and MAN Truck & Bus, added, “Platooning is a real benefit to transport safety. Human error is unfortunately one of the most frequent causes of rear-end collisions. Linking trucks together electronically provides us with a promising approach to this problem. Slipstreaming brings a major reduction in fuel consumption in the process. At the same time platooning will enable us to make much more efficient use of the transport infrastructure.”

He added, “Whether the concept can be realized on a wide scale will depend to a large extent on the legal framework. MAN will offer such a system once the legal setting for it has been created”.

In the first phase of the project, DB Schenker and MAN Truck & Bus will clarify the fundamental issues for trial operations, identify suitable scenarios for testing platooning operations and define the technical and logistical requirements for the compilation of platoons. Another project area will deal with the collection and provision of the necessary information and the use of that information by the truck manufacturer and logistics specialist.

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Source: Deutsche Bahn