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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Platooning Technologically Possible.

All of the major technology needed to electronically link two semi-trucks platoon style is already available on the market, according to a new report from the North American Council on Freight Efficiency, and several manufacturers are actively testing platooning systems. Look for the technology on a road near you soon.

The major draw of platooning is the fuel savings, which NACFE estimates to be about 4 percent for a two-truck platoon. It’s enough to recoup the initial investment of $1,050 to $2,800 in just two years, the report claims.

Platooning involves two or more trucks traveling just 40-50 feet apart, with the rear truck benefitting from the draft of the lead truck. The system works thanks to a system of adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance technology, which allows the rear truck to automatically accelerate and brake in response to the actions of the truck in front of it.

While the technology for safe platooning exists – and is still evolving – the rules of the road have yet to catch up. Lay drivers are often uneducated regarding how to operate safely on the road with one semi; two linked trucks would require even more aggressive awareness campaigns. State laws will also need to be adjusted to make allowances for closer following speeds, as well as a degree of autonomy in the rear truck.