A paradigm shift is needed to meet the future challenges of more effective road freight transport. The "Physical Internet" stands for this as a new vision of future logistics for physical goods to achieve a sustainable logistics and transport system. This includes the optimisation of multimodal transport chains by drawing on the advantages of the different modes. In this context, it is essential to develop flexible and adaptable vehicles and loading units with optimised aerodynamics, powertrain interconnectedness for low emission and highly efficient long-distance, inter-urban transport, and distribution in urban areas. The optimal matching of novel vehicle concepts and infrastructures require the definition of smart performance-based standards for future trucks, load carriers and road infrastructures.
The Green Vehicles H2020 call "Aerodynamic and flexible trucks" requires a contribution to “climate action and sustainable development by an overall efficiency gains of at least 18-33%, demonstrated on real platforms”. In this context, the AEROFLEX project will develop the knowledge, concepts and technology to improve the efficiency of long-range freight vehicles by 18-33% while drawing up recommendations for implementing the results within European regulations and in the transport & logistics industry.
The DLR-Institute of Transport Research leads a work package that aims to map and quantify load in EU and the potential for new vehicle concepts. It is planned to analyse mode choice decisions of shippers and to give an overview about logistics trends and of measures to foster intermodality and synchromodality. Further, the impact of the use of new vehicle concepts on road freight transport concerning vehicle-kilometres and GHG emissions will be estimated by an own simulation.
The overall objective of the AEROFLEX project is to develop and demonstrate new technologies, concepts and architectures for complete vehicles that are energy efficient, safe, comfortable, configurable and cost-effective, while ensuring that the varying needs of customers are satisfied by being flexible and adaptable with respect to the continuously changing operational conditions. These new configurable truck concepts should meet the future logistics and intermodality needs to be met for the different segments and markets.
The DLR-Institute of Transport Research will contribute with our expertise to the following specific objectives:
The project partners are coming from automotive industry, suppliers, consultancies and research entities and will provide specific input based on their skills and competences. Finally, AEROFLEX will demonstrate a new vehicle concept and compare the results with a standard tractor semi-trailer combination.
The DLR-Institute of Transport Research will contribute by providing literature analyses, stakeholder surveys, stakeholder workshops and simulation of the impact of the use of new vehicle conception vehicle-km and GHG-emissions.
The market analysis, led by DLR, will show the future shipping needs, for both volume freight and weight freight. The demonstrator gives Original Equipment Manufacturers hands-on experience with technology that would be complex and expensive to develop individually.
The AEROFLEX project gives trailer manufacturers a unique opportunity to discuss communication interfaces, and define common standards. The overview of the current EU legislation shows the need to change regulations and standards to implement and certify new technologies to bring them to market.
AEROFLEX will support vehicle manufacturers to meet the coming challenges and increase efficiency for road freight transport.
The AEROFLEX project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 program "Aerodynamic and flexible trucks". Contract number: 769658
10/2017 to 03/2021