Ohio to have autonomous trucks platooning this year.
Ohio is continuing down its path as a frontrunner in autonomous trucking. This spring, motorists will see Peloton Technology roll out an evolving vehicle technology known as ‘platooning’ on the Ohio Turnpike.
Platooning involves creating pairs of semi-autonomous commercial trucks. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication allows the vehicles to travel close together, which reduces fuel burn and cuts wind resistance. The trucks communicate on braking and speed. The trucks will travel 50 feet behind one another, are equipped with forward collision avoidance systems and have a driver in each cab to steer.
The Ohio Turnpike is ideally suited for autonomous trucking technology because it is flat and straight. It has previously been used to test out autonomous vehicles.
Geoff Johnson, external affairs strategist for Peloton, stated the technology would only be used in appropriate traffic, weather and road conditions on multi-lane, divided, limited-access highways.
“We are interested in developing multi-state platooning activities with fleet customers, whose routes are often multi-state, and with state officials. We are also working with fleet customers whose use regional haul operations with routes that stay within given states,” Johnson said.
Platooning is nothing new. It’s been done for more than seventy years. The advent
of the CB Radio made platooning a whole lot safer, at least for the truck driver.
Car drivers didn’t feel safe with trucks platooning so the governments made
platooning illegal because it was “unsafe”. It wasn’t but perception is reality.
Now technology can take the human element out of vehicle to vehicle
communication and it becomes safe. What’s changed? Follow the money.