The optiTruck project will launch this week a real-life test of its fuel optimisation module, in the form of a long-haul delivery mission across Europe carrying shipments for IKEA and Electrolux. The project aims to reduce the fuel consumption of heavy trucks by 20%, and will put its Global Optimiser to the test with this transport mission through Turkey, Greece and Italy, in a baseline truck and a testbed truck equipped with the system.


The Ford F-Max Comfort Plus tractor that will be used in the international transport mission

Two Ford F-Max Comfort Plus tractors with Otokar semi-trailers will depart from Uşak, Turkey on 17 July carrying a shipment for IKEA, who partnered with optiTruck for this purpose. After taking the ferry from Igoumenitsa (GR) to Brindisi (IT), the drivers will reach the IKEA logistics centre in Piacenza, near Milan, on 22 July. For the return journey, optiTruck partnered with Electrolux: after loading cargo at the Electrolux plant in Porcia (IT), near Treviso on 23 July, both trucks will travel back through Brindisi and Igoumenitsa, reaching Istanbul on 28 July and completing a 5000km, 12-day journey through three countries.

Map of the international optiTruck test [Click here to view the interactive map in full screen]

Bringing together the most advanced technologies from powertrain control and ITS to improve fuel efficiency in heavy-duty road haulage, the optiTruck partners have created a global optimiser consisting of a set of dynamic, intelligent control and prediction components for effective powertrain management. Based on a predictive control system, the optiTruck global optimiser is expected to deliver a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 20% on a typical road transport mission for a 40t truck, while achieving Euro VI emission standards.

A view of the driver interface showing the optimal speed profile and optimal route. The two drivers of the testbed truck have received specialised training in operating the fuel optimiser to its fullest efficiency.

To develop the optimiser, optiTruck used Big Data analytics, cloud computing, predictive algorithms, electronic systems, embedded software, engine and after-treatment systems modelling, and vehicle modelling. The system develops a strategy for the best route and generates a velocity profile, using the information provided by new-generation navigation systems and big data analytics in the cloud, including predictive traffic and weather information, road topography and road network, and information about the transport mission. Inside the cabin, a smartphone-based interface provides the driver with optimal route and speed profiles, using on-board equipment and the connected Cloud Optimiser.

Overview of all partners involved in the international test mission, including optiTruck partners and participating shippers Electrolux and IKEA.

The objective of this experiment will be to test and fine-tune the fuel optimiser, the driver interface, and the algorithms underpinning the system. Throughout the journey, sensors will record fuel consumption, urea consumption (AUS 32), CO2 and NOx emissions, as well as impact on driver workload and comfort. Down the line, the researchers involved will compare results to simulations and to the performance of the baseline truck driving the same route.

The results of this full-scale test will undergo analysis by project partners and will be presented to the public in a webinar in late August – early September 2019: visit optitruck.eu for updates.