Connected and automated vehicle technology developer Peloton has completed a series of real-world truck platooning demonstrations in Florida, logging over 1,000 test miles in the process.
The demonstration occurred in collaboration with the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. It featured two Peloton-equipped Volvo VNL670 Class 8 trucks equipped with Peloton’s linked, collision-avoidance platooning technology. According to Peloton, the two trucks traveled at a separation distance of approximately 65 feet, with professional drivers remaining fully in command of each truck at all times.
Peloton’s driver-assistive system enhances driver teamwork by enabling two individual drivers to form a two-truck platoon under appropriate highway conditions. Unlike highly automated vehicles, Peloton’s system requires drivers of each truck to be in full control of steering and remain actively engaged in driving. The system links the active safety systems of Class 8 trucks, enabling pairs of trucks to coordinate their speeds and maintain a safe, aerodynamic following distance.
Currently, according to Peloton, nine states have confirmed allowance for commercial deployment of truck platooning technology: Arkansas, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, with additional states considering confirming allowance the technology as well. The company says the just-completed demonstrations will help set the stage for the State of Florida to consider joining others in allowing full commercial deployment.
“Peloton Technology appreciates the opportunity to demonstrate its driver-assistive truck platooning technology as part of Florida’s connected vehicle pilot project.” said Steve Boyd, Peloton co-founder and VP of external affairs, in a release. “The demonstrations this week were very successful, and we look forward to working with the Florida transportation agencies, the Florida Trucking Association, major fleets and others as we bring this safety and efficiency technology to the Sunshine State.”
“As a leader in transportation technology, Florida is proud to participate in the piloting of transportation technologies that benefit the commercial trucking industry, while improving the safety of Florida’s roadways,” added Tom Byron, assistant secretary of strategic development for the Florida Department of Transportation. “We welcome this and other opportunities to test connected vehicle systems and other advanced transportation concepts that will improve roadway safety and bring new economic opportunities to the region.”