We have been writing that TEAM is about driving and travelling. This naturally implies driving with a car or using a bus to get where you want. But traffic also includes heavyweight vehicles such as trucks. They play a very important role in our everyday life as they deliver goods and products and make sure stores and supermarkets can serve the needs of all of us.

What does this have to do with TEAM? Well, if trucks can’t drive through the city traffic efficiently we all have a problem - especially during peak traffic periods. When trucks are for instance not able to keep enough distance to other traffic participants or have issues with lane changing or merging, this can seriously affect the traffic flow in a city and lead to dangerous traffic situations.

To prevent that, heavyweight vehicles are also part of TEAM and several applications have been developed to address challenges and issues connected to trucks. In the Euro-EcoChallenge, a Europe-wide test for TEAM technology, these applications are tested in five different countries: Italy, Germany, Greece, Finland and Sweden. On a test site near Gothenburg, trucks were made ready by the TEAM developers to face specific traffic challenges.

TEAM trucks in Sweden
One challenge for truck drivers is to keep pace with the cars in front. In this case, an “Adaptive cruise control” (ACC) system can help. This is an intelligent form of cruise control that slows down and speeds up automatically. It can set an ideal speed limit while a radar watches for traffic ahead. Moreover, it can lock on to the car in a lane and instruct the truck to stay behind the person car ahead of it. It is typically paired with forward collision warning that functions even if the driver doesn’t have ACC engaged.

Vehicle-to-vehicle communication in TEAM
However, this is not the end of the story. ACC systems already exist. Now TEAM is making them more intelligent. Through including information from other vehicles,TEAM is able to extend the foresight range of current ACC systems to better predict traffic density and to improve traffic flow.

And TEAM is even going one step further, by taking traffic information into account. The speed of the truck is adapted regarding e.g. upcoming traffic incidents, traffic light phases, and infrastructure related incidents like construction sites.

This collaboration between vehicles and infrastructure is the reason why TEAM calls this application collaborative adaptive cruise control (C-ACC).

Another important challenge in nowadays traffic is vehicles merging. Changing lanes safely is a real issue. Merging from lane to lane in heavy traffic, especially before a truck, can be annoying and it can also be dangerous. Through including several sources of information, TEAM can again help to increase safety and efficiency in this situation.

CDM application informing about vehicle merging
The collaborative driving and merging (CDM) application of TEAM is able to provide advice for the driver and support decision making. First, it is again analysing information about the infrastructure. It can also include information from the traffic management centre about hotspots where conflicts are happening. Then, CDM is able to broadcast messages and alert surrounding vehicles. For example, truck drivers are informed that a vehicle is about to change lanes in front and speed recommendations are given to prevent collisions.

The TEAM trucks have taken these challenges successfully. However, there are more challenges waiting. Stay tuned for more information about the Euro-EcoChallenge and how TEAM applications are tested in different parts of Europe.

1 Comment


  • Francesco Bellotti  
    In my opinion, collaborative driving is an excellent tool to extend the electronic horizon awareness, thus safety, especially on road networks with high traffic densities. I am happy to see that transportation research is advancing also from this point of view.

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