Not all in the autonomous vehicle industry are taking the same road.
At the Automated Vehicle Symposium in Orlando this week, one company involved in automated vehicle technology unveiled its vision for using a single driver to drive a pair of vehicles.
The approach, named Automated Following, is an advanced platooning system created by Peloton Technology. It uses vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology to let a lead driver control the vehicle and one that is following, in this case large trucks.
Rather than creating trucks that drive themselves, Peloton is focusing on using the lead driver’s eyes and experience.
"We see the drivers as the world's best sensors, and we are leveraging this to enable today's drivers to be more productive through automated following platoons,” stated Peloton Technology CEO, Josh Switkes.
Platooning works by utilizing V2V communications and radar-based active braking systems, combined with vehicle control algorithms, according to Peloton.
The system connects a fully automated follow truck with a driver-controlled lead truck. The V2V link lets the human driven lead truck guide the steering, acceleration and braking of the follow truck.
In earlier trials, Peloton had a driver in both the lead and follow trucks. In those trials, the driver in the follow truck did the steering but the automated system controlled the powertrain and brakes to precisely manage the following distance.
The earlier tests reported fuel savings averaging more than 7%, with some as high as 90%.
While the platooning systems aren’t likely to achieve mass adoption in the very near future, they start to show the capabilities and potentials of vehicle-to-vehicle communications.
Once 5G is more widespread, such connectivity will finds its way into cars.