Nine US states have already approved full truck platooning
Another seven states have also greenlighted automated vehicle platooning with certain restrictions
A total of 9 U.S. jurisdictions have already authorized automated vehicle platooning, according to a study by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
The states that have already given a green light to truck platooning are Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin
The CEI study also said that seven states including Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Kentucky, South Carolina and Texas have already taken some action to authorize platooning, while still enacting or maintaining certain restrictions.
The rest of the U.S. states have not yet approved truck platooning, according to the study.
“Automated vehicle platooning is one of the more promising potential functions of automated vehicle technology. Platooned vehicles can travel more closely together at highway speeds, mitigating traffic congestion, improving fuel economy, and increasing vehicle throughput without costly roadway capacity expansions,” said Marc Scribner, a CEI senior fellow and author of the study.
“In the freight sector, trucking companies are eager to move their goods with fewer workers, in order to both address the chronic shortage of qualified commercial drivers and permanently reduce labor costs,” he said.
In the U.S., local automated vehicles solutions provider Peloton has been engaged in trials to show the benefits of truck platooning. In December 2017, Peloton conducted a live demonstration of driver-assistive truck platooning in Michigan.
The company said the demo featured a pair of Peloton-equipped Volvo VNL670 class 8 trucks platooning with separation of approximately 65 feet, allowing participants to experience how this semi-automated and connected vehicle technology, including vehicle-to-vehicle communications, assists drivers in a real-world setting.
The company also carried out a similar demonstration in Florida in January this year.
Peloton’s two-truck system enables pairs of trucks to coordinate their speeds and maintain a safe following distance. The Peloton system limits platooning to appropriate multi-lane, divided, limited access highways. The system also orders pairs of trucks and determines their optimal following distance and enables the rear truck in a platoon to respond to braking by the lead truck in approximately a tenth of a second, eliminating the normal delay from driver perception and reaction time, the company said.
Peloton said these demonstrations represented a key step towards commercial deployment of the Peloton platooning system, which is expected to occur by the end of this year. The company said it has already signed truck platooning deals with a number of fleets in North America.