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Safer Aerodynamic Cabs for Trucks

Project Scope

The European Commission has for many years been considering amending legislation to permit HGVs to exceed current length limits in order to allow HGV cabs to be elongated without changing the amount of load they can carry. Longer curvier cabs have the potential to improve both aerodynamics and Safety.

OUR Role in the Project

Apollo Vehicle Safety has provided technical support to the campaign group Transport & Environment on this subject since Apollo’s creation in 2014.

The first consideration was the potential for increased length to allow for improvements in front underrun protection, what constraints existing regulations (UNECE Regulation 93) placed on the ability of Europe to make changes, and to consider what potential new test procedures could be used to define and encourage change.

The vehicle industry presented evidence that any vehicles whose frontal geometry complied with a defined geometric envelope would in reality produce an aerodynamic benefit compared with a baseline truck. Apollo were commissioned to consider whether the same approach could be used to define that trucks would produce a benefit for safety. The potential benefit in terms of improved pedestrian protection was considered the most likely candidate and investigated by computer simulations undertaken by subcontractor GRM Consulting.

The European Commission commissioned further research from Apollo to investigate a range of proposed refinements, the results of which provided the evidence base for a European Commission proposal which, over time, is likely to change the shape of trucking in Europe.

Timing

July 2014 – March 2019

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