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Safe Road Trains for the Environment
General information
Category:Europe EC DG RTD
From 2009-09-01 to 2012-09-30 Completed
SARTRE project website
Eric Chan
Fuel savings 7-15%, emissions reduction 20-75%, moderate trust 60%

SARTRE is an EC project to encourage the development of safe environmental road trains (platoons). The project developed, tested, and demonstrated a prototype platooning system with five vehicles.

WikiPedia link


  • To create a fully functional road train comprised of lead vehicle (driven by a professional) and following vehicles (driven autonomously) and to demonstrate the system in operation. Systems will be developed facilitating the safe adoption of these road trains on un-modified public highways with interaction with other traffic.


  • Aimed to encourage a step change in personal transport usage through the development of safe environmental road trains (platoons)
  • Development, testing, and demonstration of a prototype platooning system (up to 90 km/h and 5m gaps)
  • Evaluated the environmental, safety, congestion and convenience benefits


  • FUEL SAVINGS: At 8 meter gaps, following vehicles achieved about 12-15% reduction in fuel consumption, while the leader vehicle achieved about 7%
  • EMISSIONS: Carbon emission reductions varied per vehicle within platoon, but the following cars experienced reductions as high as 60-75%. Lead truck experienced 20% (following truck 40-50%); at a gap (distance between vehicles) of 8 meters.
  • HUMAN FACTORS: Close to 60% of users trusted the system. ~75% of people felt uncomfortable when intra-platoon gap length was less than 16m, and people felt unsafe under 7m.
  • HMI: 65.5% of drivers indicated that the HMI was effective in minimizing workload to zero (fully autonomous);
  • Five-vehicle road train demonstrator system with mixed vehicle types (truck, SUV, station wagon)
  • SARTRE Final report

Related Projects

COMPANION but no formal link except for IDIADA as a partner, The Peloton Project in the US


Seven core partners: Ricardo UK Ltd, Idiada and Robotiker-Tecnalia of Spain, Institut for Kraftfahrwesen Aachen (IKA) of Germany, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, Volvo Car Corporation and Volvo Technology of Sweden.

Budget / Funding

Total cost: € 6 933 054 / EU Contribution: € 3 837 129

Funded under the call: FP7-SST-2008-RTD-1

Topic: SST.2008.6.0.3. - Encouraging Step Changes/Radical Technology Changes