TRUCK PLATOONS IN PUBLIC ROAD TESTS
DAIMLER HAS begun testing connected trucks in so-called platooning operations on public roads in the US. This was announced during the recent North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta, Georgia.
In truck platooning, connectivity and automated driving is said to improve safety within the vehicle convoys, support drivers and enhance efficiency through closer distances between the connected trucks.
Having started with successful trials on Daimler Trucks North America’s (DTNA) proving ground in Madras, Oregon, DTNA has received the appropriate permission from the regional regulatory body Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).
In a first step called ‘pairing’, DTNA tests its platooning technology in two connected Freightliner New Cascadia truck trailer combinations. In a joint effort with large fleet customers, DTNA will test digitally connected trucks in every day transport businesses.
President and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America Roger Nielsen says platooning technology is not meant to replace drivers. “It’s designed to help drivers,” he says.
“When the world is ready for platooning, DTNA will have a proven solution. Right now we are driving Freightliners in platoons every day.
“I have personally driven one of our trucks in a connected mode. My experience has been impressive.”
To digitally connect its Freightliner New Cascadia in the current tests in the US, Daimler combines connectivity with its experience in automated driving.
Wi-Fi-based vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) interacts with Freightliner’s Detroit Assurance 4.0 driver assistance systems featuring adaptive cruise control, lane departure assist and active brake assist 4. This technology is said to offer fuel savings to the customer when two or more Freightliner trucks closely follow each other, lowering aerodynamic drag and adding safety, because V2V reaction times have dropped to about 0.2 or 0.3 seconds. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, humans normally can respond no faster than one second.