This paper is part of the AEROFLEX project – AEROdynamic and FLEXible Trucks for Next Generation of Long Distance Road Transport. Aim of the project is to develop and demonstrate new technologies, concepts and architectures for complete vehicles, while ensuring that the varying needs of customers are satisfied with respect to the continuously changing operation conditions. These technologies comprise of distributed hybrid powertrains (e.g. electric dolly and/or trailers), advanced vehicle aerodynamics (e.g. active roof and ride height adjustment, gap reducer, side skirts, boat tail, etc.), and smart loading units (e.g. double load floor trailers supported by cargo loading optimization software, multi-modality trailers and horizontal collaboration). The main target of the project is to show that it is possible to improve the efficiency of logistic operations with 18-33%. One of the main challenges of the project is the assessment of the efficiency of the different (combinations of) innovations in real-world applications in a limited timeframe. In order to do so, an innovative assessment approach is used which combines on-road tests of vehicle combinations on public roads with (partial) simulations in different simulation and calculations models. The current paper will focus on the assessment framework that links the on-road tests with logistic use-cases and the Vehicle-in-the-Loop (VIL) testing approach as a means to test physical vehicles in a simulated environment. The assessment method enables full simulation of a vehicle of which only the origin, destination and vehicle specifications are known. It contains of a route profile generator to obtain the route (including speed limit and elevation profile) from origin and destination. This is followed by a mission profile generator to determine the vehicle’s speed over the route. The vehicle model, which contains the different technologies of interest, consequently provides the energy consumption and fuel consumption. The VIL test method allows for measured quantification of fuel consumption and emissions for these real missions, while being fully flexible in vehicle type and set of innovations of interest. The VIL testing approach is developed to evaluate vehicle performance of a truck connected to a transient dynamometer in a climatic altitude test chamber. The truck is driving a real-world route while it is virtually heavier and longer and equipped with for instance an electric dolly. Additionally, the VIL test approach is used for functional testing of the powertrain energy management system between truck and electric trailers. A unique factor in the final technical assessment, is the use of so-called customer use cases. Over 50 companies in the logistics sector are interviewed about their day-to-day business and from these interviews a set of use-cases is gathered that contain a wide variety in logistic concepts, length of routes, multi-modality, road elevation and more. Connecting these real-world driving missions to the unique test facility, the vehicle performance can be evaluated under controlled environmental circumstances while different combinations of technologies can be applied in a systematic, flexible and generic manner.
Ir. Emiel van Eijk, TNO, NETHERLANDS Mr. Ben Kraaijenhagen, BeCat, GERMANY Ir. Paul Mentink, TNO, NETHERLANDS Dr. Per Elofsson, SCANIA CV AB, SWEDEN Dipl.-Ing. Julius Engasser, MAN Truck & Bus SE, GERMANY Dipl.-Ing. Alex Freixas, Applus IDIADA Group, SPAIN Ir. Ton Bertens, Van Eck Trailers, NETHERLANDS