Initiated last year as a research and development cooperation between Ford Otosan, and AVL’s research and engineering centres in Turkey and Regensburg in Germany, the collaboration’s work is aimed at re-defining the operation of trucks in the freight haulage industry. At a demonstration event on the test track at Ford Otosan’s Eskişehir Plant in Turkey, Ford’s new F-MAX tractor units equipped with AVL platooning technology have successfully run in a wirelessly-connected convoy formation. The partners note that as the first phase of their joint R&D cooperation project is completed, their progress on the platooning of heavy commercial vehicles will form the basis to making fully autonomous transportation become a reality, not only in Turkey, but worldwide.
Ford Otosan (Ford Otomotiv Sanayi AŞ) is a joint venture with Koç Holding and is the company’s biggest commercial vehicle production centre in Europe. AVL is the world’s largest independent company for the development, simulation and testing technology of powertrains for passenger cars, trucks and large engines. Over the three years of the partnership’s platooning R&D project, they expect that trucks within the convoy automatically following a lead truck, will be able to cut fuel consumption by as much as 10%, with a similar reduction in vehicle emissions.