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Platooning: What Do You Know?

The Name of the Game is Change

 

The logistics industry seems to change every day. In fact,  2018 has proven to be a year of fantastic growth and constant flux! In the run up to and following the hard enforcement of the ELD rule, shippers and carriers are beginning to navigate new ways of negotiating pay while the driver shortage continues to play a large role in tightening capacity. At the same time, new technologies are more affordable and available to folks all along the supply chain thanks to the wide adoption of cloud computing and mobile phone adoption. And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg!

It’s nearly impossible to predict the changes to come, but we thought it might be fun to take a closer look at platooning: what it is, how it works, and the benefits!

 

Platooning

 

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the definition of platooning is

“the coordinated operation of two or more trucks via cooperative adaptive cruise control where the lead truck is wirelessly connected to the following trucks and sends messages that affect throttle, brakes, and brake lights.”

In addition:

  • Drivers steer, identify hazards, and operate vehicles when they are not platooning.
  • Following trucks automatically increase separation if another vehicle intersects the platoon.

 

The Office of Energy, Efficiency, and Renewable Energy, asserts that truck platooning could offer benefits such as improved safety, increased energy efficiency, and a reduction of costs.  Such benefits include:

  • Reduced chance of collisions as automatic brakes react faster than human beings.
  • Better traffic flow because truck platoons take up less space on the road.
  • Reduction in operating costs since trucks driving closely together at a consistent speed reduce the aerodynamic drag.
  • Less driver fatigue and improved attention due to reduced workload.

 

Peloton has recently released a cool video that both explains and shows how truck platooning works and illuminates the benefits! Check it out here!

Connected automation of trucks is quite promising. Here at AM Transport Services, we love new technologies and their benefits for the customers and carriers we work with. Lots of folks believe that platooning will make its way into the industry in the latter half of 2018.

There are certainly many hurdles, but on May 15, the Michigan House of Representatives passed legislation that will allow for shorter travel distance between platooning trucks.

And in June, truck maker Volvo AB and FedEx Corp announced that they had begun testing platooning technology on a section of North Carolina highway 540. We believe this indicates a climate of innovation and that means platooning could be around the next corner!

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