A new report says adopting 33-foot twin trailers and platooning technologies in the trucking industry could help save fuel and reduce U.S. dependence on oil.
Securing America's Future Energy released a report that identifies technologies and policy recommendations aimed to improve safety and efficiency in the trucking industry, while reducing the United States' oil dependence.
The report, entitled “Heavy Duty Innovation: Energy, Automation & Technology in the Trucking Sector,” focuses on vehicle design innovations, connected vehicle technology, and retrofitting of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
SAFE found that at 4% of the U.S. fleet, long-haul trucks, account for 13% of daily petroleum consumption. The report also found that adoption of linked 33-foot twin trailers would result in an estimated 23 billion gallons of diesel saved by 2050. The widespread use of existing platooning technologies could also save up to 20 billion gallons of diesel fuel through 2050, according to the report.
SAFE found the more predictable and less complex nature of freight transportation could lead to early adoption of autonomous vehicles in the trucking industry. However, it pointed out, adoption of autonomous vehicles in trucking is at odds with current legislation that omits heavy-duty trucks from autonomous vehicle guidelines.
In the report, the organization puts forth policy recommendations, including the exemption of truck platooning in following-distance laws, the transition to performance-based standards for commercial vehicles, and authorization of the use of twin 33-foot trailers. SAFE also recommends that the federal government pre-empt the ability of states to set their own autonomous standards, quantify the fuel efficiency implications of ADAS technologies, and preserve the 5.9 GHz spectrum band for V2X communication.
The full report can be found here.