Date: February 6, 4pm to 5pm CET

Moderator: Jean-Charles Pandazis (ERTICO – ITS Europe)


  • Jean-Charles Pandazis (ERTICO, BE), optiTruck coordinator
  • Alois Danninger (AVL, AT), IMPERIUM coordinator
  • Steven Wilkins (TNO, NL), ORCA coordinator
  • Will Northrop (University of Minnesota, USA), VPRO coordinator


This webinar entitled “Challenges facing predictive Powertrain technologies” is organised by the optiTruck project. The aim is first to introduce examples of innovative powertrain technologies currently under development for reducing fuel consumption. Second, we will have a discussion about challenges in order to define common issues faced by predictive powertrain technologies in general.

These common issues will then be addressed during a stakeholder forum meeting that will take place on 17 September 2018 at the beginning of the ITS World Congress in Copenhagen (to be confirmed).

Three of these activities are funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 research programme and one is funded in the USA under the NEXTCAR research programme.


  1. Introduction (5′)
  2. Activities presentation:
  • optiTruck (10′)
  • IMPERIUM (10′)
  • ORCA (10′)
  • VPRO (10′)
  1. Discussion on challenges to define common issues to be addressed in a stakeholder forum planned September 2018 (15′)

Click here to register.

About optiTruck

Optimal fuel consumption with predictive powertrain control and calibration for intelligent Truck (optiTruck) is bringing together the most advanced technologies from powertrain control and intelligent transport systems in order to achieve a global optimum for consumption of fuel (at least 20% reduction) as well as other energy sources and consumables while achieving Euro VI emission standards for heavy duty road haulage (40t).

For more information visit:


Fuel economy is a key aspect to reduce operating costs and improve efficiency of freight traffic, thus increasing truck competitiveness. Under the coordination of AVL List GmbH, the main objective of the IMPERIUM project is to achieve fuel consumption reduction of up to 20% (diesel and urea) whilst keeping the vehicle within the legal limits for pollutant emissions. The IMPERIUM consortium, consisting of the major European actors, represents those responsible for manufacturing 45% of the heavy duty vehicles manufactured in the EU and is able to provide a 100% European value chain for the development of future powertrain control strategies for trucks.

For more information visit:

About ORCA

ORCA stands for Optimised Real-world Cost-Competitive Modular Hybrid Architecture for Heavy Duty Vehicles.

ORCA has the ambitious goal to develop an IVECO multimodal hybrid bus and VOLVO distribution hybrid truck with an extended full electric range from 10km to 30km. Vehicles will be equipped with innovative PHEV rechargeable energy storage (RES) systems, designed specifically for each vehicle application.

For more information visit:

About VPRO

The Co-Optimised Delivery Vehicles project is developing technology to improve the fuel efficiency of delivery vehicles through real-time powertrain optimisation using two-way vehicle-to-cloud connectivity. The project is led by the University of Minnesota and represents a collaboration between engine research and computer and data science.

Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA–E) NEXTCAR program.

For more information visit:


Jean-Charles Pandazis (ERTICO)

optiTruck coordinator, joined ERTICO in 2009 as Head of Department Clean & Urban Mobility. He holds a Master degree in Electrical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. He built his career at Bosch Corporate Research in the field of Driver Assistance with focus on predictive navigation. Seconded by Bosch to ERTICO, he developed many activities related to map databases and driver assistance. With ERTICO he coordinated the EU Project eCoMove. He is currently the coordinator of the industry-driven platforms ADASIS and SENSORIS.

Alois Danninger (AVL)

Mr. Alois Danninger received his MSc. Degree in industrial / control engineering from Graz University of Technology, Austria, in 2002. He was working in advanced and production software development as engineer and project manager for transmission, hybrid – and engine control at AVL between 2004 and 2010. At the Austrian research center “Virtual Vehicle Competence Center” he lead the team for combustion engines and initiated and coordinated the collaborative project “IMPROVE” in FP7. In 2014 he joined AVL at his current position of Manager Engine Controls in Engineering and Technology Powertrain Systems. In 2016 he finished his PhD in control engineering at Graz University of Technology, Austria. He is author and co-author of several publications and patents. Mr. Alois Danninger is the project coordinator for IMPERIUM.

Steven Wilkins (TNO)

Dr. Steven Wilkins works as a scientific research engineer with a background in hybrid and electric vehicle systems and powertrain modelling and simulation. He has been involved in a wide range of research projects funded by EPSRC (UK), Industrial and Governmental, and the E.U. within Frameworks 5, 6, and 7. Based in the Netherlands, he works as a senior research scientist and technical lead within TNO, the Dutch Organisation of Applied Research within the Powertrains Department. He is also a part-time Assistant Professor within the University of Eindhoven, within the Electromechanics and Power Electronics (EPE) research group, with a prior academic background based at Imperial College London where he completed his PhD and post-doctoral studies. He is an active member of EARPA and EGVIA, and is involved in the TRANSFORMERS, CONVENIENT, EMC2, ABattReLife, ORCA, FABRIC, ASSURED, AEROFLEX and 3CCar European project amongst others.

Will Northrop (University of Minnesota, USA)

William Northrop is an associate professor in mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota. He also directs the Thomas E. Murphy Engine Research Laboratory. Dr. Northrop received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from University of Michigan in 2003 and 2009, respectively and a B.S in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1997. After receiving his Ph.D., he held the position of Senior Researcher at General Motors Research and Development where he worked in the Propulsion Systems Research Laboratory. Professor Northrop won a NSF CAREER Award in 2014, the University of Minnesota McKnight Land Grand Professorship in 2015, and SAE Ralph Teetor Award in 2016. He is currently principal investigator on two large research projects sponsored by the US Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office and ARPA-E’s NEXTCAR program.