Peloton Technology Inc., Mountain View, Calif., unveiled its vision for doubling the productivity of drivers through the development of its new Level 4 Automated Following solution.
“We’ve taken a different approach to commercial introduction of automation in Class 8 vehicles,” says Josh Switkes, chief executive officer. “We see the drivers as the world’s best sensors, and we are leveraging this to enable today’s drivers to be more productive through automated following platoons.”
Peloton’s Automated Following is an advanced platooning system, using vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology to enable a single driver to drive a pair of vehicles, marking the next major milestone in deploying automation to increase the safety and productivity of commercial vehicles.
Driver-assistive truck platooning provides safety and fuel efficiency benefits
Platooning and Automated Following systems work by utilizing V2V communications and radar-based active braking systems, combined with vehicle control algorithms. Peloton’s proprietary technologies link pairs of heavy trucks for connected driving that improves aerodynamics, fuel economy and safety.
Peloton’s Level 1 (Driver Assistive) system, PlatoonPro, has a driver in both the lead and follow trucks. The driver in the follow truck steers, but the system controls the powertrain and brakes to manage the following distance to provide immediate reaction to whatever acceleration or braking the lead truck performs.
PlatoonPro has now operated with 6 customers and additional customer fleet trials are underway. In each case, the customer and Peloton experienced a perfect safety record, with customer trucks showing fuel savings averaging over 7% and high percentages of miles platooned, as high as 90%. Platooned miles per day exceeded 700 miles per truck in some cases, resulting in projected fuel savings per truck up to $7,000-10,000 per year.
Platooning makes driverless semi-trucks a reality
Leveraging experience in deploying a commercial L1 platooning system, PlatoonPro is an SAE Level 4 autonomous solution that connects a fully-automated follow truck with a driver-controlled lead truck to platoon. The V2V link allows the human-driven lead truck to guide the steering, acceleration and braking of the follow truck and connects the safety systems between the trucks with minimal latency.