Digitally networked trucks on the A9.

Truck platooning on the A9
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Regular test drives of two networked trucks began on the 145 kilometer stretch of motorway. Experts refer to this as platooning.

What is platooning?

This term refers to a strong network between two vehicles, through which at least two cars or trucks can drive one behind the other at a very close distance . The following vehicle, or later several vehicles, are electronically linked to the driver. Sensors and cameras always keep the same distance, further driver assistance systems such as an active lane keeping and braking assistant support the safe interaction.

In the first truck sits a driver who controls the semi-trailer as usual. A person is also sitting in the driver's cab in the second vehicle. However, he no longer controls, but can spend the time doing other tasks, for example planning a tour or other work that may arise. In an emergency, it is always ready for action, for example if systems should fail.

Advantages for drivers and forwarders

Without a higher risk of accidents, the distance between the two trucks can be massively reduced, which for To save space on the road. In the long term, platooning could also alleviate the shortage of parking spaces at motorway service stations if drivers are allowed to spend part or all of their rest periods in the platoon and do not have to stand in the parking lot. Hauliers should also benefit from significantly lower fuel costs, as the trucks can take advantage of the slipstream of the vehicle in front at a close distance start normal everyday logistics.

Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) said at the start of the test drives: “This is a visionary research project for our digital test field Autobahn A9. Road freight transport is thus starting its automated and networked future. We bring tomorrow's technology onto today's roads, test the intelligent interaction of man, machine and material. Our opportunities: The logistics processes - from the ramp to the customer - can be even safer,become more efficient, more environmentally friendly. And the truck driver can become a modern logistics specialist in the digital truck. ”


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