Volvo Trucks North America has successfully completed a highway demonstration of its truck platooning technology with FedEx.
This marks the first public on-highway showcase of platooning technology between a major truck manufacturer and a transportation company in the US. The company has been working with FedEx and the North Carolina Turnpike Authority (NCTA) to expand its on highway operations of Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) in the US.
The vehicle-to-vehicle communication system helps reduce the reaction time for braking and enables vehicles to follow closer, automatically matching each other’s speed and braking. The advanced technology is meant to aid skilled professional truck drivers.
The platoon consisted of three trained, professional truck drivers in Volvo tractors, each pulling double 28 foot trailers. Through CACC the tractors and trailers remained in constant communication. The tractors and trailers traveled at speeds of up to 100km/h while keeping a time gap of 1.5 seconds, maintaining a closer distance than what is typical for on-highway tractors. Staged and unplanned vehicle cut-ins demonstrated how the technology handles common traffic situations.
“Volvo Trucks has long supported platooning because it benefits freight companies and professional drivers alike through safer, more fuel-efficient operations,” said Per Carlsson, Acting President of Volvo Trucks North America. “We continue preparing for deployment of trucks with greater vehicle-to-vehicle communication capabilities that support higher levels of ADAS. We know these technologies will be part of our future, but exact timing depends on many things, namely regulations, infrastructure, safety standards, and market demand”.