COMTRANS aims at yet another successful edition

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To be held at Moscow, Russia, between September 04, 2017, and September 09, 2017, the COMTRANS CV show is aiming at yet another round of success. The biennial event, supported by the Ministry of Trade and Industries of Russian Federation and the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Volkswagen, Scania, MAN, Volvo, Renault, Mercedes-Benz, Ford Sollers, Isuzu, Hyundai, Hino. DAF, JAC, Foton, FAW, Yutong. Jost, Lohr, CIMC Trailer, Weilton, Koluman, ZF, Wabco, Binotto, Hyva, Knorr-Bremse, Krone, SAF-Holland, Thermo King, BPW-OST, Fuwa, BorgWarner, and many others showcase their achievement. Spread over 40,000 sq. m. area, the fair, also supported by the Association of European Businesses (AEB), will include many premiers and innovations from CV majors. To highlight trucks, vans, buses, trailers, all-terrain vehicles, components, lubes, tyres, tools and workshop equipment, leasing and insurance services among others, COMTRANS 2017, will conduct business programmes and host the 17th annual award ceremony of the “Best Commercial Vehicle of the Year in Russia”. Also awarded will be the Truck of the year, Van of the year, Bus of the year, Prospect of the year, and a Special award. For the first time, the awards will include two new categories – Trailer of the year and Person of the year. Attracting 214 companies from 13 countries, the CV fair, included in the official calendar of automotive transport exhibitions of the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), will have the CEOs of manufacturer-companies, representatives from professional associations (OICA, OAR, RAS, Russian Engineering Union, IRU) together with the governmental authorities (Ministry of Trade and Industries, Ministry of Transport, the Committee of Transport of the State Duma of the Russian Federation) participate in the business summit (business programmes) held September 05 and September 06, 2017.

Adam Lacko shines at Nurburgring

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In the third race of FIA European Truck Racing Championship, Adam Lacko, driving a Freightliner for team Buggyra, took a well deserved win on Nurburgring’s Eifel track.

Team CV

Adam Lacko, driving his Buggyra International Racing System Freightliner, took a commanding win in race three of the Nürburgring round of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship on July 02, 2017. Braving rainy weather, Lacko, the three-time winner at the Truck Grand Prix, extended his growing point’s advantage over his competitors, continuing his quest for a first FIA European Truck Racing Championship (ETRC) title. He now leads by 46 points. Tankpool24 Racing entrant Norbert Kiss finished second in his Mercedes-Benz whereas Lion Truck Racing’s MAN of Anthony Janiec took the third place. Anthony took the third place for the second time this season. For Lacko, the win at Nurburgring marked the second win after he clinched the title at the earlier round at Misano, Italy.

With weather conditions improving slightly overnight, indicating clearly that a dry surface could end Lacko’s wet weather domination in his Freightliner, Kiss won the Super Pole session. Norbert Kiss and Antonio Albacete – two drivers involved in a collision in an earlier race, set the pace in the Super Pole session held on the morning of July 02, 2017. The Tankpool24 Racing Mercedes-Benz driver initially recording 1:54.725 and his closest rival, Albacete, in the Truck Sport Lutz Bernau MAN being just 0.099 seconds down on his time. But it was local man Jochen Hahn who performed a late lunge with just seconds remaining in the session to claim second, a mere 0.051 seconds and push Albacete down to third on the grid. Fourth fastest, Adam Lacko, taking a clean sweep the day before, was met with much-improved conditions. It meant the playing field was level. David Vršecký, in the second of the Buggyra International Racing System Freightliners, qualified just behind his team-mate and had Steffi Halm in Reinert Racing MAN for company on row three of the grid. Row four of the grid was taken by MAN drivers, with Sascha Lenz in the SL Trucksport entry having a similar machine for company. It was a Lion Truck Racing Team entry for Frenchman Anthony Janiec. The earlier podium finisher, Gerd Körber, qualified ninth, with his compatriot André Kursim alongside. The Tankpool24 racer also topped the Promoter’s Cup category with his closest rival José Rodrigues starting 12th after being knocked out in the earlier timed practice.

While Kiss started from pole, Lacko started from the fourth position. With a storming start, Lacko grabbed the lead from Kiss, Antonio Albacete, and Jochen Hahn at the end of turn one. Albacete emerged as a surprise leader from the scrap with Sascha Lenz in the SL Trucksport MAN making a remarkable leap from seventh to second. It turned out to be a very brief second for the German. The Spaniard’s lead didn’t last long as he spun and took Lenz with him at turn three. Both managed to continue, but their chances of a decent result were over. Capitalising on the situation, Kiss made progress. Lacko in second continued to push hard, and build pressure. Third placed Körber, moving up from ninth position, exerted good pressure as well. Kiss and David Vršecký ran wide exiting the final corner. Kiss re-joined in fifth and Vršecký lost further ground after a lengthy trip through the gravel. Lacko grabbed a firm lead and stayed in control for the rest of the race. Gradually extending his lead to a point where he was 12-seconds in front, the grid behind Lacko continued to re-arrange. There was plenty of action. Several drivers regained lost ground in the opening stages, chief among these, Norbi Kiss.

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Kiss moved up to the second position after an entertaining scrap with Anthony Janiec’s Lion Truck MAN. Iveco lost ground with Körber slipping back and dropping from third to tenth. This was followed by Hahn suffering a similar experience. In the latter stages of the race both Ivecos were on a mission to get back into the points positions. It was the same with Antonio Albacete and David Vršecký. André Kursim put on a strong performance and stayed out of trouble to take fourth overall, his best ever result in the FIA ETRC.Vršecký managed to come back into fifth position in the second of the Buggyra Freightliners with Steffi Halm in Reinert Racing MAN, who experienced a rather quiet race, one place behind in sixth. Hahn and Körber recovered to seventh and eight position respectively. Albacete, who was dead last after the lap one incident stormed through the pack to ninth place following a late lunge on Jeremy Robineau. The final point’s position went to José Rodrigues in his Rebonconorte MAN.

Kursim takes the Promoter Cup

The Promoter’s Cup class saw a second consecutive win for André Kursim. The German youngster took control from the second lap onwards. The Tankpool24 Racing driver made further in-roads into José Rodrigues’ points advantage with a well-judged drive. Rodrigues took the runners-up position after managing to drop Jeremy Robineau after he temporarily fell behind him after a mid-race excursion. Robineau led at the end of the first lap but was quickly usurped by Kursim and Rodrigues and eventually came home third ahead of Heinz-Werner Lenz’s Mercedes-Benz. Buggyra 1969 claimed the Teams’ honours in race three as Adam Lacko and David Vršecký combined to beat the Tankpool24 Racing pairing of Norbert Kiss and Andre Kursim. The Die Bullen IVECO Magirus pairing of Jochen Hahn and Gerd Körber claimed the final rung of the podium.

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Volvo Trucks and Renova test autonomous refuse truck

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Refuse trucks operate in cities and towns. Their operating cycle is typically urban, and with almost a stop at every household to collect refuse. The stop-go operating cycle of a refuse trucks leads to an amount of fuel wastage as well as increases the amount of exhaust gases the truck emits. That is not the only issue with refuse trucks. These trucks also pose a challenge to the driver with their duty cycle. The stop-go operation often results in driver fatigue, and especially in an urban environment. Making a perfect candidate for alternate fuel technologies, like buses, refuse trucks have also been a subject of research for some time now. The effect of their operating cycle on the driver is also prompting companies that build, and operate refuse trucks, to look at making it better and efficient. It does not come as a surprise therefore, that a Swedish waste management company, Renova, and Volvo Trucks, are currently testing an autonomous refuse truck with particular attention to safety. The two are researching on how automated vehicles can contribute to safer, more efficient refuse handling and create a better working environment for drivers. The automated systems being tested are in principle the same as those fitted to the autonomous Volvo truck operating in the Kristineberg Mine in northern Sweden since autumn 2016.

According to Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic & Product Safety Director, Volvo Trucks, that the automated refuse truck is driven manually in a new area for the first time with an on-board system constantly monitoring and mapping the route with the help of sensors and GPS technology. “The next time the truck enters the same area, it knows exactly which route to follow and at which bins it has to stop,” he expressed. Stating the reason behind why his company embarked on this exercise, Almqvist mentioned, “Driving a heavy commercial vehicle in an urban residential area with narrow streets and vulnerable road users imposes major demands on safety, even when the vehicle’s speed doesn’t exceed a normal walking pace. The refuse truck we are now testing continuously monitors its surroundings and immediately stops if an obstacle suddenly appears on the road. The automate system, at the same time, creates better prerequisites for the driver to keep a watchful eye on everything that happens near the truck.” At the first stop with the automated system activated, the driver climbs out of the cab, goes to the rear of the truck, brings out the wheelie-bin and empties it exactly the way the job is done today by operating the relevant controls. When the operation is completed, the truck automatically reverses to the next bin upon receiving the driver’s command. The driver walks the very same route that the truck takes and thus always has full view of what’s happening in the direction of travel.

An odd bit is the truck reversing. It is unheard of that a refuse truck reverses as it goes about picking up refuse at every door step almost. There’s a reason why this refuse truck reverse from one bin to the other, said Hans Zachrisson, Strategic Development Manager, Renova. He stated, “By reversing the truck, the driver can constantly remain close to the compactor unit instead of having to repeatedly walk between the rear and the cab every time the truck is on the move. And since the driver doesn’t have to climb in and out of the cab at every start and stop, there’s less risk of work related injuries such as strain on the knees and other joints.” Reversing is otherwise a fairly risky manoeuvre as the driver may find it difficult to see who or what is moving behind the vehicle, even if it is fitted with a camera. In certain areas it is not allowed to reverse a heavy commercial vehicle for safety reasons, in others it is a requirement that a co-driver must stand behind the truck to ensure that the road is clear before the vehicle reverses. In this case, the truck – Volvo FM, is designed to eliminate these issues. Sensors monitor the area all around the refuse truck, no matter the direction in which the vehicle is moving.

If a car or any other obstacle is blocking the street, the refuse truck will automatically drive around it provided there is enough space. The automated systems, according to Almqvist, optimise gear changes, steering and speed, fuel consumption, and reduces emissions. Said Almqvist, “The technical scope already exists. However, a lot of research, testing and development remains before self-driving refuse trucks can become a reality.” The current project will continue until the end of 2017. It will be followed by an extremely thorough evaluation of functionality, safety, and how well this type of a vehicle is accepted by drivers, other road users and local residents. “Vehicles with varying degrees of automation will probably be introduced earlier in other applications, where transport assignments take place within strictly confined areas such as mines and cargo terminals,” signed off Almqvist.

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Förarlös sopbil.
Best. av Anna Arbius
Bild: Cicci Jonson, Bilduppdraget

Safety at Volvo Trucks

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Intelligent and innovative safety technologies developed by Volvo Trucks promise zero accidents.

Story by: Anirudh Raheja

Safety is endemic to the Swedish society. It lays much emphasis on accident prevention. If this will help to explain why safety is synonymous with Volvo, which has a long history of establishing safety milestones, at its Experience Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden, recently provided an insight into the safety technologies it has developed. With high commitment to safety, the Swedish truck giant is working on a plethora of technologies that could lead to connected vehicles, and eventually to truly autonomous machines. Present in 68 countries, including India, Volvo Trucks is pro-actively expanding the envelope of automotive safety. With an eye on rising vehicular population, and the resulting challenges, the company is focusing on smart safety technologies like emergency braking and collision warning.

The root of both these technologies lies in accidents where the following vehicle rear-ends the vehicle ahead. The results of which are often disastrous. Underlining the phenomenon of better infrastructure leading to more vehicles and higher traffic speeds, Helene Mellquist, Senior Vice President, Volvo Trucks International, expressed that rear-end collisions account for one-fifth of the overall accidents that involve trucks. “Since November 2015, it is mandatory to equip every two and three-axle trucks with an automatic emergency braking system across the European Union,” she said. According to the EU legislation, the braking system should be effective in slowing down a truck by 10 kmph. The target for next year is 20 kmph. Of the opinion that the amount of jerk that will emanate from such an excercise will cause the driver pain. To avoid this, Volvo Trucks, according to Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic and Products Safety Director, has developed a system that alerts the driver well in advance. If the driver does not pay heed to the warning, the emergency brakes are applied. Mentioned Almqvist, “If you are driving at 80 kmph when the emergency braking system is deployed, there is a need to cut down the speed by more than 20 kmph to avoid a nasty collision because the vehicle ahead has come to a standstill.”

Offering a first-hand feel of the technology on a Volvo FH16 750 carrying a load of over 40-tonnes, the engineers of the company explained how the system works. Noticing another vehicle in front, the truck shed speed from 80 kmph to a standstill in less than 40 m. The braking speed recorded was up to seven-meter per second square. The system, with standard ABS deployed on both the tractor and the trailer, is laced with a camera and radar technology to monitor the vehicular movement ahead of the truck. It is engineered to brave adverse weather conditions. Sensing the risk of a collision, the system gives out a sharp audio warning, closely followed by an escalating lighting combination. If the driver fails to respond, emergency braking is activated. At other times, when the system notices a lack of steering movement, it engages the parking brake in five seconds to avoid a roll over. To warn the following traffic, brakes lights begin to flash.

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Self-driving refuse truck

The self-driving refuse truck Volvo engineers have developed in association with Renova aims for safer, and efficient refuse handling. It provides an insight into how the refuse trucks of tomorrow will be like; how safe they will be. Meant to create a better working environment for drivers, the truck is driven manually the first time it visits a locality. The on-board system constantly monitors and maps the route with the help of sensors and GPS technology. The next time the truck visits the locality, it knows exactly which route to follow, and at which bins to stop. At the first stop with the automated system activated, the driver climbs out of the cab, goes to the rear of the truck, brings out the wheelie-bin and empties it exactly the way it is done with a conventional refuse truck. When the operation is completed, the truck automatically reverses to the next bin upon receiving the driver’s command. The driver walks the very same route that the truck takes. He thus has a full view of what’s happening in the direction of travel always.

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By reversing the truck, the driver can constantly remain close to the compactor unit instead of having to repeatedly walk between the rear and the cab every time the truck is on the move. And since the driver doesn’t have to climb in and out of the cab at every start and stop, there’s less risk of work related injuries such as strain on the knees and other joints. Carrying the same genetic pattern of autonomous Volvo trucks operating in Kristineberg mine in northern Sweden, the autonomous refuse truck, according to Almqvist, comes to an immediate halt if the sensors monitoring the surrounding area notice another object in close vicinity. The commercial application of such a refuse truck is still some time away. There’s more research to be done, and especially in the wake of the regulation that does not allow trucks to be reversed for reasons of safety. Issues like these, and others need to be addressed. A detailed story on the autonomous refuse truck is featured ahead in the issue.

Platooning

A convoy of three Volvo FH trucks, as part of an exercise to forward the cause of vehicle automation, under the supervision of the Dutch government, travelled from the Volvo headquarters at Gothenburg to Rotterdam in March 2017. As part of the European Union truck platooning challenge, the three Volvo trucks were driven through five countries while communicating wirelessly with each other through cameras and radars. The communication between the trucks was carried out through G5, a special frequency dealing with encrypted data traffic. The frequency enabled either truck to match the speed of the other trucks, which is essential to a platoon. With a one-second gap between the two trucks, the rate of acceleration and deceleration matched. A glimpse of how the system works was had with the camera fitted on the lead truck sending the footage to the two other trucks in the platoon. While the other drivers continued to steer the vehicle, acceleration and braking was automated. Traveling at 80 kmph, the trucks in the platoon maintained a 22 m gap between each other. The seemingly small gap reduced wind drag. Developing autonomous steering as an effort to reach the goal of a truly self-driving truck, Volvo is aware of the associated risks; the need for the drivers to be ready, and to accept it commercially.

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Visibility and driver awareness

Volvo Trucks is working closely with the Swedish Government to impart training to drivers through the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI), Lindholmen. VTI, in 2011, inaugurated its Sim IV simulator, which produces a large stroke liner motion in both lateral and longitudinal directions. A system consists of three LCD screens for rear view mirrors and nine projector modules for 180 degree forward field view. It is designed such that it studies the driver reactions and imparts training on maneouvring the truck in different situations. The number of accidents involving trucks has fallen as per the Volvo Trucks Safety Report for 2017. The report has mentioned that there are still a considerable number of drivers who do not wear a seat belt. Highlighting the need to focus on pedestrian safety, and that of the cyclists and motorcycles, the report has emphasized on active safety measures like increased seat belt usage, driver awareness as well as direct and indirect visibility from the cab, driver coaching services that provide direct feedback to the driver, and Advanced Emergency Braking (AEB) system.

The current AEB system as per the legislature, is designed to mitigate or avoid rear-end accidents. It will have to, in the future, include scenarios involving pedestrians and cyclists (VRUs). This would call for detection systems that identify VRUs in close proximity to a truck. Also, Cooperative Intelligent Traffic Systems (C-ITS) that enable communication between vehicles and infrastructure. Opined Peter Wells, Head, Volvo Trucks Accident Research, “Often there are these minor factors that foster a safe environment. They also lead to product improvement.” Volvo engineers have set up cameras that complement the rear view mirrors. The combination of cameras and mirrors is aimed at eliminating the limitations posed by a human eye. “There are blind spots around the truck for a driver. Different traffic situations call for them to be dealt accordingly. It is a joint responsibility of the society to see and be seen to elevate road safety,” averred Almqvist. He concluded, that it is important to educate the young and the adults.

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Dearman hybrid bus completes trials

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Running on diesel and liquid nitrogen, the Dearman hybrid bus has successfully completed rigorous trials.

Team CV

A revolutionary hybrid bus that runs on both diesel and liquid nitrogen, powered by the UK-developed Dearman engine, has completed rigorous trials, bringing it one-step closer to the road. Expected to accelerate the use of liquid nitrogen for primary power, the hybrid bus – CE Power – has turned out to be the world’s first commercial vehicle of its kind to be powered by liquid nitrogen. Built by engineers at Horiba Mira as part of an Innovate UK consortium, the bus utilises alternative propulsion to address urban air pollution challenges and features a high-efficiency, zero emission Dearman engine, powered by liquid nitrogen, alongside a conventional diesel engine. The hybrid system enables the bus to reduce noxious tail-pipe emissions, improving local air quality. With the Innovate UK consortium comprising of leading leading industry, academic and local and national governmental organisations like Dearman, Air Products, Cenex, Coventry University, Horiba Mira, Manufacturing Technology Centre, Productiv Ltd, and TRL (Transport Research Laboratory), the CE Power uses a hybrid propulsion system to reduce emissions during acceleration.

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As part of a bus’ drive cycle, acceleration traditionally has a heavy impact on the diesel engine as it moves away from standstill. The engine can produce vast amounts of nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide emissions, which are harmful. As the Dearman engine produces none of these harmful emissions, it will enable the bus to continue to frequently stop to unload and pull away from a bus stop without expelling the same level of damaging pollutants. Whilst driving at 20 mph or below, the liquid nitrogen, stored in a low pressure insulated cylinder is warmed up to the point of boiling, at which time it creates enough pressure to drive the multi-cylinder Dearman engine. Once the bus reaches 20 mph, the diesel engine will kick in. It is at this speed that the bus requires less effort from the engine to operate.

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Completed at Horiba Mira’s engineering facilities and Proving Ground in Nuneaton, UK, recently, the trials included components and full system testing along with an engineered drive cycle to simulate a standard bus route with a variety of stops. Expressed Martin Watkinson, Technical Lead on the project at Horiba Mira, “The hybrid nature of CE Power demanded a sleek systems integration process. Our engineers worked to ensure the liquid nitrogen system operated seamlessly and safely with the diesel engine, in addition to carrying out the whole vehicle thermodynamics modelling and the overall vehicle control and testing.” “The completion of trials paves the way for the use of liquid nitrogen more widely in the automotive sector, and takes the UK one step closer to stamping out harmful emissions for good,” he averred.

The Dearman engine at Dearman in Croydon. 20th July 2015.

The Dearman engine at Dearman in Croydon. 20th July 2015.

The benefits of using liquid nitrogen over an electric hybrid bus include a much longer life, local production and easy refuelling. Batteries, which power many of the UK’s electric hybrids, require changing several times over the course of a bus’ lifetime, whereas the liquid nitrogen system will last the lifetime of the bus. Liquid nitrogen can be produced locally without the need for neodymium or lithium, which are both used by motors and batteries, and sourced from overseas. Refuelling liquid nitrogen can take a matter of minutes, and enables the bus to return to the road in a short timeframe. Mentioned David Sanders, Commercial Director at Dearman, “As the UK wrestles with dangerous levels of urban air pollution, a bus that runs on ‘thin air’ represents a significant breakthrough. The Dearman Engine has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of both buses and HGVs, reducing fuel consumption and cutting pollution. Crucially it can provide a cost effective alternative to other emerging zero emission technologies, whose environmental performance if often offset by complexity and cost. This successful trial could be the first step towards rolling out a British innovation to the streets of the UK and around the world.”

Automatic braking as standard

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Volkswagen has made autonomous emergency braking systems standard on its Caddy, Transporter and Crafter vans.

Team CV

With the potential to reduce the number and severity of accidents, Volkswagen has made autonomous braking systems standard on its Caddy, Transporter and Crafter vans. Proven to have cut third party injury insurance claims by 45 per cent, autonomous emergency braking for van drivers and fleet operators means lower costs, and less downtime, courtesy fewer crashes. Using radar, which is built into the front end of the van, the system, named Volkswagen ‘Front Assist’, recognises critical distances to the vehicle in front. To ensure safe stopping in dangerous situations, the system first warns the driver with audible and visual signals of a vehicle in front, driving slowly or suddenly braking, and of an associated risk of collision. It simultaneously prepares the van for emergency braking by applying the brake pads and alerting the brake assistant. If the driver fails to react to the warning, a one-off short jolt of the brake in the second stage indicates the looming danger of a collision. The brake assistant’s responsiveness is further increased, and if the driver steps on the brakes, full braking power is made available immediately. If the driver does not brake strongly enough, the ‘Front Assist’ increases the braking pressure to the required level, so that the vehicle comes to a stop before reaching the obstacle.

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Front Asist’ also includes the City Emergency Braking function. This function provides assistance at speeds below 18 mph. If a driver fails to see or react to an obstacle, the system automatically applies the brakes and ensures that the speed of any collision is reduced. It even prevents the vehicle from running into the obstacle. Looked upon as the most significant development in vehicle safety since the seat belt, autonomous emergency braking systems are said to have the potential to save more than 1,000 lives and 120,000 casualties over the next 10 years. Said Sarah Cox, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, the move aligns with the company’s endeavour to produce safe and reliable vans. “Technology is advancing, and we are continually seeing more and better ways to keep drivers safe on the road,” she mentioned. Peter Shaw, Chief Executive at Thatcham Research, said, “Volkswagen are the first manufacturer to fit AEB as standard on all its vans in the UK. With a year on year rise in deaths and serious injuries involving vans, this technology can help to avoid such happenings.” He drew attention to a 2015 study by Euro NCAP and Australasian NCAP, which showed autonomous braking leads to a 38 per cent reduction in real-world rear-end crashes.

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Efficient off-peak deliveries

Scania P 340 4x2 box body, CNG. Stockholm, Sweden Photo: Kjell Olausson 2015

Off-peak deliveries trial at Stockholm using ‘silent’ trucks resulted in a significant uptake in efficiency.

Team CV

A trial at Stockholm, Sweden, brought to the fore two distinct benefits of off-peak deliveries _ operational efficiency and environmental benefits. In many European cities, including Stockholm and London, deliveries are prohibited at night to reduce the noise impact in residential areas. For the off-peak, or out-of-hours deliveries trial, carried out by Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology, two trucks were adapted for the tasks such that they were given nocturnal exemptions. Both the trucks that participated in the trial were fitted with noise-reduction equipment, such as silent roll cages, and noise sensor technology. Volvo supplied a diesel-electric hybrid FE truck, fitted with a device that enabled it to automatically switch from diesel power to electric power when entering a restricted urban zone, keeping noise and emissions to a minimum. The ‘silent’ truck was used by supermarket chain Lidl to deliver to three city centre stores between 22:00 and 06:00 hrs. It was observed that the Volvo FE hybrid ‘silent’ truck was able to complete three drops, significantly elevating efficiency.

Off-Peak i Stockholms innerstad med El-hybrid. Lars Åke Olsson kör Volvos El-hybrid, nattetid. Sergelstorg Foto : Rickard Kilström 2014-09-04

Before the ‘silent’ truck came around, Lidl operated at peak morning times. It needed three conventional trucks to serve its city centre stores. Off-peak deliveries carried out by one ‘silent’ truck ensured that there was no need for two other trucks to operate. The two other trucks could be simply removed from the road, elevating efficiency. In addition, the ‘silent’ truck was also able to travel over 30 per cent faster than the trucks that operated during the rush hour. Said Anna Pernestål Brenden, a researcher at KTH’s Integrated Transport Research Laboratory, that morning commuters are spared having to share the road with three heavy duty trucks. With one truck doing the work of three, there is a big jump in efficiency. The second truck used for the trial was a biogas-fuelled Scania R480. It was used to transport fresh goods to a number of city centre hotels and restaurants for temperature-controlled distributor Martin and Servera. The truck’s driving speed was 59 per cent higher than in the afternoon peak. Off-peak deliveries meant routes could be planned more efficiently and did not have to factor in congestion.

With one of the main reasons of conducting the trial being the effect of the noise of the vehicle on residents during off-peak hours, the trial had the drivers follow special rules to ensure the quietest of night-time deliveries. The trucks would not have a reversing alarm, and there would be no talking on the mobile phone outside the vehicles. It was observed that trucks unloading within city centre environments were not noticeable to residents. Only those in one quieter, outer suburb experienced minimal noise disruption. Averred Brenden, that the noise people complained about was of unloading the truck, and not of driving it.

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