Truck platooning is a transportation concept that involves the use of advanced vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technologies to enable two or more trucks to travel at a set, close distance between each other. By travelling in a closely-spaced convoy, vehicles in a platoon can benefit from reduced aerodynamic drag and resistance to decrease fuel consumption and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
The lead truck is typically driven by a human driver. The following vehicles can be semi-autonomous with a human driver monitoring the situation or fully autonomous in the future.
Platooning can also involve trucks with platooning capabilities linking up to complete a certain leg of a journey together as a convoy. The members can leave the platoon and continue on their own when they so decide.
The vehicles in the convoy are exchanging data such as speed, position, and acceleration in real time. This enables the trucks to maintain a safe and efficient following distance while also allowing the lead vehicle to guide the following vehicles through changes in traffic patterns or road conditions.
The vehicles following the platoon leader react and automatically adjust their course or break almost simultaneously with the leader. Breaking time, for example, would be significantly reduced compared to human drivers. The automatic process decreases the chance of accidents brought on by human error or driver fatigue.
The vehicles may also be connected to a cloud-based platform or network (V2C) to receive real-time information about traffic, weather, and road conditions, which can be used to optimise the route and speed of the platoon.
Platooning could provide a lot of advantages, but there are also some difficulties that need to be worked out. These include addressing the regulatory and legal concerns related to the use of platooning on public roads. As well as ensuring the security and dependability of the communication and control systems used in platooning.
Despite these obstacles, it appears likely that platooning will play a bigger role in transportation in the years to come thanks to continued improvements in communication and control technologies.
- Convoy driving
- Autonomous platooning
- Automated truck platooning