New Technology Allows Commercial Trucks To Travel In Automated Convoys

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Everyone makes a big deal about autonomous cars and taxi programs. But trucks, particularly semi-trucks, often get left out of the discussion.

Until now.

Peloton Technology, a startup based in Mountain View, Calif., that’s backed by Intel Corp., has created technology it says would reduces the danger of trucks traveling in close proximity to each other, according to Automotive News. The technology reportedly tracks vehicle locations, and then matches up trucks headed in similar directions at similar times.

Once the trucks meet up, Peloton’s system would assume control of breaking and acceleration, leaving drivers in control of steering, per Automotive News. As a result, the trucks would travel nose-to-tail, reducing the chances for collisions.

Peloton reportedly is working to perfect its system through various testing, and is enlisting the help of truck operators, vehicle manufacturers and technology providers, among others.

“We are finishing validation of a real product,” Peloton CEO Josh Switkes told Automotive News on Wednesday. “It’s hard to make a safety-critical system like this a commercial product.”

With the help of Peloton’s technology, the $700-billion trucking industry reportedly would be able to save money on wind resistance and fuel costs. Although the system would enable trucks to platoon, it first would check various safety factors, including weather, to determine if platooning is viable, Automotive News reports.

Peloton reportedly aims for the technology to be deployed commercially by the end of this year. The company is about to close a $60 million round of funding, according to Automotive News, including an investment from Intel.

The California startup reportedly believes its technology is just one step away from full automation, something it says it will work on in the future.

Thumbnail photo via Flickr/Josselin Berger

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