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Robocars love the draft | Automaton


curated by | August 5, 2014

If you are willing to leave much of the driving in the hands of the guy behind the steering wheel, and all you want is to manage tight spacing for efficient drafting, then the solution to the problem is much easier and cheaper. And those two words are music to the ears of the truck fleet operators, who have been known to refuse to install air conditioning.

One such stripped-down platooning system is being studied in a project funded by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, led by researchers at Auburn University, with the participation of Peloton Technology (a specialist in platooning technology), Peterbilt Trucks, Meritor-WABCO, and theAmerican Transportation Research Institute. In a highway test not far from Salt Lake City, Utah, two Peterbilt 386 trucks—a leader and a follower—traveled at 103 kilometers/hour (64 mph) while maintaining an 11-meter gap.

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