NXP Semiconductors and DAF Trucks have demonstrated self-driving technologies in automated lorries.

The test formed part of the European Truck Platooning Challenge, an event organised by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, which has lorries driving in columns on public roads from several European cities to the Netherlands.

The challenge is designed to bring autonomous platooning one step closer to implementation by showcasing economic, traffic management and safety advantages.

Under the EcoTwin consortium, NXP, DAF, TNO and Ricardo joined forces to make the demonstration possible.

The core of the EcoTwin technology set-up is a vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications solution, RoadLINK, developed by NXP.

It uses the wireless communications standard IEEE 802.11p combined with NXP radar technology to empower the trucks within the platoon to securely exchange information in real time and automatically brake and accelerate in response to the lead truck.

The speed of communication and responsiveness of NXP RoadLINK technology allows extremely tight distances and synchronous driving between the platooning DAF Trucks.

To demonstrate autonomous acceleration and braking, the planned distance between the vehicles is slated for 0.5 seconds – which, when travelling at 80 kph (50 mph), translates to a distance of 10 metres (30 feet).

The responsiveness of the trailing truck within the platoon is estimated at 25 times faster than the average human reaction time of one second – saving critical time in case of emergency braking.