[Logo: Future Mobility Lab]

automated vehicles

Future Mobility Lab

Automated Vehicles


The topic of the European founded research project SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) was the development of a mixed vehicle platoon of trucks and passenger cars, in which several vehicles follow a lead vehicle fully automatically with small gaps to improve aerodynamics. At the same time the small gaps and a digital transmission of driving parameter via V2V communication enable a reduction of needed road area and an improvement of traffic flow. Worldwide several research projects focused on this topic. In Europe these were for example the European founded projects PROMOTE CHAUFFEUR I + II as well as the German national project KONVOI.

Since these projects mainly focused on the technical feasibility and platoons, which were built by vehicles of the same vehicle class, the SARTRE project placed the focus on building a mixed platoon of two trucks and three passenger cars. The project aim was to develop strategies and technologies to allow vehicle platoons to operate on normal public highways with significant environmental, safety and comfort benefits. Since the German project KONVOI could 2009 operate a platoon in real traffic for the first time worldwide, SARTRE was 2012 the first project which could operate a mixed platoon in real traffic. In addition traffic flow simulations could show that the operation of platoons on highways can improve traffic flow, increase average speed and in this way contribute to avoid traffic jams. Energy consumption measurements in a controlled field showed that a reduction of energy consumption of up to 16 % for following vehicles and 8 % for lead vehicles are possible.

With the experience from the KONVOI project the ika was again partner of this platooning project and could due to both projects acquire a wide knowledge in this topic. In the KONVOI project the ika was mainly responsible for the technical implementation and operation as well as the operating strategies. In the following SARTRE project the ika developed a back-end for an external coordination of platoons, interfaces between the HMI, back-end and vehicles as well as conducted traffic flow simulations with the software PELOPS, which was developed from ika in cooperation with BMW. Two of the four KONVOI trucks are still in use at ika.



Dr.-Ing. Adrian Zlocki
Institut für Kraftfahrzeuge (ika)
+49 241 80 25616
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Project duration

09/2009 – 11/2012

Project partner

ika, Ricardo UK Ltd, IDIADA Automotive Technology SA, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, Tecnalia Research & Innovation, Volvo Car Corporation, Volvo Technology AB

Supported by

[Logo: European Union]