Newsletter 1

  Year 1, No. 1, 10 November 2015
European Truck Platooning Challenge 2016
Year 1, No. 1, 10 November 2015
This newsletter is designed for and by everyone professionally involved in the realisation of truck platooning in Europe and the organisation of the EU Truck Platooning Challenge in 2016. Alongside current developments, this monthly newsletter will also cover knowledge-sharing and exchange, briefing of partners and making contacts. Contributions are always welcome.
What is European Truck Platooning and why are we organizing this Platooning Challenge? Who are the parties involved and what do we want to achieve? These and other questions formed the thrust for the start-up meeting for the European Truck Platooning Challenge during the ITS World Congress in Bordeaux. Wednesday 7 October marked the successful kick-off for a very special Dutch initiative, designed to put smart mobility and automated driving on the European map, permanently. Read more >
Let’s start today! On 6 April 2016, several trucks will be driving from a number of European cities, in computer controlled columns, along the public road, to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Several team players have already offered their help to make this happen. They underline their involvement in the a short film. Erik Jonnaert and Christine Buck, of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), explain why the Challenge is such a strategic task. 
In Bordeaux participants were explicitly asked for their commitment: ‘Are you in?’ and ‘Under what conditions?’ This being to avoid the danger of opting in/out. And so it was good to see that this commitment– overwhelmingly signed by senior management – did indeed come our way.
Jan Hendrik Dronkers, Rijkswaterstaat’s director-general, has since responded with a letter showing the roles around four specific themes: connectivity, harmonisation, continuity and communication. Obviously this is linked to the meeting of the 28 European ministers of Transport scheduled for 14 April 2016 in the Amsterdam Maritime Museum. 
Jan Hendrik Dronkers
Jan Hendrik Dronkers
A dedicated Challenge team – led from Rijkswaterstaat – will be the leading force and will coordinate activities required to realise the Challenge and to create a climate whereby truck platooning in Europe is further developed as an ongoing innovation.
“What is unique in this programme is network leadership: cooperation between industry and government, not based on power and force, but from intrinsic motivation. There are no blueprints, no preplanned routes. We make a journey together and meet up in practice. We don’t just think – we do!”, as programme director Dirk-Jan de Bruijn sketches his vision.
The first steps towards the Platooning Challenge were taken in Bordeaux. Shared enthusiasm was matched by the realisation that much remained to be done leading up to the Challenge in April 2016. Obviously this requires further action around follow-up meetings relating to the corridors, the exemption procedure, communications, and technical issues. To this end we will be holding a next level meeting in Rotterdam on Tuesday 1 December 2015, where we will be guests of the Port of Rotterdam on the 17th floor with a view over the port, an ideal setting for new insights. Indeed: insights create overviews and thereby an outlook!
From 1 January to 30 June 2016, for the twelfth time, the Netherlands will hold the presidency of the Council of Europe of the European Union. Priorities are: a strategic agenda for the EU in times of change, job creation via innovative growth and seeking connection with societal players.
During the EU presidency the Netherlands will chair the meetings of the Council and take the lead in negotiations between member states and between member states and other European bodies on new European regulation. The Netherlands will be taking over from Luxemburg and will be working closely in a troika with Slovakia and Malta. Slovakia will take over the presidency on 1 July 2016.
The Netherlands intends to use its presidency of the Council of the European Union to position smart mobility high on the European political agenda. Among other things this will be done by organisation of a European Truck Platooning Challenge 2016, followed by a substantive conference on smart mobility for the European ministers of Transport on 14 and 15 April 2016.
Florien van der Windt
Secretariat European Truck Platooning Challenge
Merel van Beekum
Input next newsletter
Copy for the next newsletter can be mailed to the editor-in-chief Monique Moonen: no later than 27 November 2015.
Editorial team
Loes Aarts, Odile Arbeit de Chalendar, Dirk-Jan de Bruijn, Jacqueline Eckhardt (copy editor), Monique Moonen (editor-in-chief), Arjan van Vliet.

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