Late last year, at the IAA Show in Hannover, Germany, Daimler Truck and Bus head Martin Daum sent shockwaves through the trucking industry when he announced that Daimler wasn’t seeing good fuel economy results in platooning trials with new trucks and highly advanced aerodynamic systems. Daum doubled-down on his comments at the CES Show in Las Vegas, earlier this year, formally announcing that Daimler would forgo any future work on truck platooning and instead focus on autonomous vehicle systems.
Like many industry observers, my first thought when I heard these announcements was of Peloton Technology, the Mountain View, California tech company that has staked out a position as one of the premier developers of truck platooning systems. Based on reports of their work – as well as Daimler’s own initial assessments, it should be noted -- truck platooning sounded highly promising as both a fuel economy and a safety technology. I’d even gone so far as to suggest it was for many Americans their first real-world exposure to autonomous trucks.
So, were all of those early results simply wrong? Was truck platooning an initially promising, yet ultimately a disappointing technological dead end?
I wasn’t sure what to think. But I suspected that Peloton Technologies, and it’s CEO Josh Switkes, weren’t going to be quick to wave the white flag when it came to truck platooning.
And I was right.
In late July, Peloton announced its first major tech advancement since Martin Daum’s comments – unveiling its Automated Following platooning system, a Level 4 autonomous system that does not require a driver in a following truck… To continue reading, CLICK HERE.