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04 07 2018 01

Volvo Trucks North America and FedEx are working together to study the benefits of platooning, recently driving three tractors pulling double 28-foot trailers down a public highway with unrestricted traffic. The vehicles used dedicated short range communications (DSRC) to maintain steady following distances as unknown drivers traveled the same tollway.

The three FedEx trucks drove at around 60 mph (97 km/h) with a separation of 1.5 seconds, or about 130 ft (40 m) at that speed. That’s close enough to begin studying the fuel savings gained by drafting, which can be around 10%, while also demonstrating ways platooning can improve safety.

In the late June demonstration, public vehicles freely entered highways and merged between platooning trucks, with trucks automatically slowing to maintain a safe distance. FedEx CEO John Smith focused on safety, noting that response times for braking can be significantly shorter.

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Tags: Mobility

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