One Driver and Two Trucks

The American company Peloton is working on the AutoFollow project and has already put trucks to the test, half of which can operate without drivers.

It is expected that the volume of freight traffic in the United States will increase by 25.6% in 2030. Meanwhile, the shortage of drivers will reach 160.000 people over the next decade. All this seriously threatens delivery schedules, which will immediately affect the profitability of the entire logistics business. That is why the recently founded company Peloton based in Silicon Valley has developed the concept of semi-autonomous trucks.

The idea is that trucks move in pairs: the driver is sitting in the cab of the first truck, and there is no one in the cab of the second vehicle. The Follow Truck follows the Lead Truck with the help of sensors and cameras, automatically maintaining a safe distance and activating the brakes up to a complete stop if necessary. Moreover, the Follow and Lead Trucks turn and change lanes simultaneously.

Peloton has already started testing trucks with the AutoFollow system, which is a further development of the PlatoonPro system. The tests carried out by the latter showed its economic efficiency: the average fuel consumption of both trucks in the fleet decreased by 7.25% — by 4.5% for the Lead Truck and 10% for the Follow Truck.

It should be noted that the project of a semi-autonomous truck fleet is also being actively developed in Europe. Such leading manufacturers as DAF, MAN, Mercedes-Benz, Scania and Volvo started actively testing cars as part of the Platooning program back in 2017.

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