Safety and Savings in Trucking: Platooning

This year, Omnitracs, a transportation software company, invested $60 million in Peloton Technology, which specializes in automated vehicle software. What would justify that $60 million investment?  The answer is the ability to utilize truck platooning.

What is Truck Platooning?

Peloton’s truck platooning uses “forward collision avoidance system and vehicle-to-vehicle communication to allow two trucks to travel closer together than would normally be safe, allowing for fuel economy savings for both vehicles.”

This system still uses a driver in each of the trucks, however, with a limit on control of the vehicle. The the software performs the bulk of the actions, such as speed of the truck, and braking. The software is incredibly adaptable, allowing for the truck platoon to change based on obstacles they see on the road. For example, truck platoons have programming to widen the gap in situations where vehicles are trying to merge onto the highway. Being able to adapt bodes well for truck platooning. This quality underlines the system’s ability to be used practically on the ever-changing highway where adaptation is necessary.

Platooning Savings
Image source: overdriveonline.com

Benefits of Truck Platooning

The reason companies such as Omnitracs are investing incredible sums of money into businesses such as Peloton is because truck platooning can be greatly profitable for trucking companies. By implementing truck platooning software, trucking companies can save thousands of dollars from the increased fuel economy. In addition, trucking companies can avoid another major expense — truck accidents. This software has a brake reaction time faster than any human. Also, the software does not take any unnecessary risks that could increase the chance of an accident.

Another benefit of truck platooning is that the software shortens the amount of time that trucks take during their travel. This is because trucks are able to go faster due to how close they are traveling to one another. This also reduces the overall time that companies would have to wait for their freight to ship. For these reasons, it is no surprise that companies are trying to invest in truck platooning software. This software has the potential to reduce significant costs associated with trucking.

Fears About Truck Platooning

Those voicing backlash about truck platooning is from truckers who are anxious that they will lose their jobs due to increasing automation in trucking. This fear is unwarranted with platooning itself, which must have a driver. However, the increased investment in software that progresses towards automation of any sort is bound to make trucker uncomfortable. Nonetheless, at this current date, truck platooning is a useful software that will make truckers jobs easier, safer, and reduce the expenses. Peloton is looking to release its truck platooning software to the market in late 2017.

Original sources: truckinginfo.com and European Truck Platooning

Header image source: Volvo YouTube