Proposals should address the following aspects:
―Map, quantify and predict the type of loads carried on roads in Europe and define potential solutions for configurable trucks.
―Develop new concepts and technologies for trucks with reduced drag, which are safer, comfortable, configurable and cost effective, and ensure satisfaction of different kinds of customer needs and adaptability to actual type of tasks and circumstances.
―Provide inputs for revising the standardisation and regulatory framework.
―Demonstrate potential in real time vehicle boundary configuration for best aerodynamics and energy management adapting to the specific load.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 7 and 10 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
The energy efficiency of logistics and co-modal transportation needs to be significantly improved, since road haulage represents the dominant share of CO2 emissions and energy consumption. Adaptable and configurable complete truck concepts and architectures can significantly contribute to improving road haulage energy efficiency, by improving aerodynamics and energy efficiency, while contributing to meet future logistics and co-modality needs for different segments and markets. Industry, authorities and policy-makers should collaborate on standardisation issues in order to allow the use of configurable trucks in road haulage. The present regulatory framework is not conducive to some of the developments suggested above. Revisions of existing regulations are needed and could benefit from results of this action, e.g. the present work with Directive 96/53/EC, which will allow greater flexibility in terms of vehicle length provided improvements in efficiency and safety can be demonstrated.
Actions will contribute to climate action and sustainable development objectives by targeting overall efficiency gains of at least 18-33% demonstrated on real platforms, broken down as follows:
―4–5% improvement in energy efficiency by separate platforms for volume and weight freight, respectively.
―4–6% improvement in energy consumption due to more effective loading space utilisation.
―5–12% energy efficiency improvement (depending on traffic circumstances) from the integration of more elaborate flexible powertrains.
―5–10% improvement in energy consumption due to improved truck aerodynamics.
―Standardised interfaces and the resulting sharing of components leading to higher economies of scale.
―The innovative front end design will increase energy absorption for vehicles and for pedestrians to ensure survivability in crashes up to 50 km/h.