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“Because the trucks can travel closer together than traditional convoys, the trucks face less air resistance, saving up to 15 per cent in fuel consumption”

to safety that identify platooning oppor- tunities, limit platooning to appropriate roads and conditions, and provide over- the-horizon alerts to drivers regarding upcoming conditions. By keeping drivers engaged at all times, Peloton’s driver- assistive truck platooning system does not involve higher automation and the system is now set for US fleet trials and ini- tial commercial deployment in 2017. Glo- bally, a range of truck manufacturers and suppliers including Peloton are exploring higher automation truck systems and these solutions will be coming to market in the next few years.

saves money, lowers fuel consumption and decreases congestion. Earlier this year, the first successful

automated truck platoon travelled across Europe as part of the EU Truck Platooning Challenge, and it won’t be long before we see exercises like this replicated in Australia. The EU Challenge featured six brands of automated trucks: DAF Trucks, Daimler Trucks, IVECO, MAN Truck & Bus, Scania and Volvo Group. In the US, Peloton Technology has been

developing a world-leading platoon- ing product that links active safety sys- tems between pairs of trucks to control for speed and following distance while

enhancing driver awareness with in-cab video feeds and driver alerts. Peloton’s systems are designed to work on a full range of heavy truck makes and mod- els. Drivers in both trucks retain steering control and command of their vehicles at all times. As a result, the system serves as Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control with similarities to the Adaptive Cruise Control systems that are widely deployed on cars and trucks today. To enhance both safety and effective-

ness, Peloton has created a cloud-based Network Operations Center that pro- vides freight companies and drivers with continuous supervisory services critical


EXCITING TIMES The development of automated vehicle technology is bringing about revolu- tion within both the passenger car and the truck industries. This revolution will impact every business, consumer and road user in Australia, improving safety, addressing growing freight movement and congestion, enhancing jobs and productivity, and improving our quality of life. It’s time we embrace the exciting opportunities these technologies will bring and begin to seriously plan for the changes required to make the transition swift, seamless and successful. ●

 Rita Excell is Executive Manager, Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative


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