In the past, drivers have avoided getting into platooning situations because while they may have felt confident in their own abilities, they didn’t necessarily feel confident of the abilities of those around them.
All that could change with the new Meritor Wabco, Peloton and Denso unveiled their a multiple truck platoon system with adaptive cruise control systems and autonomous braking at the ITS World Congress for Intelligent Transportation Systems last week.
The Peloton system uses DSRC radio technology from Denso and Meritor Wabco’s collision mitigation and safety control systems. Radio transmissions control all factors of the “platooning” software, said Peleton’s Chuck Price, VP of cloud services for the company.
“When two trucks are traveling on an open highway and want to platoon, Price says Peloton’s system will identify the location of the trucks, which truck should be routed in front and behind, and the distance that will be kept between the two units.
“Then, when the trucks reach a reasonable distance from each other, the two drivers engage switches in the cab that start the program, and the trucks are pulled together to the pre-determined distance.
“Drivers are still required to pilot the trucks, but once engaged, the trucks’ speed and braking are controlled by the platoon system. While drivers can still manually override the system to brake in emergencies, Peloton says the technology is designed to use collision mitigation systems on each tractor to sense and slow the trucks when danger is close.”
Peloton says the system will eventually be available for new trucks and as a retrofit product. Customers will purchase the system hardware during installation, then pay a per-mile fee for usage when implementing the platooning software on the road.
Peloton says the system has more than 12,000 miles of on-highway testing complete.