Caltrans, Volvo Test Truck Platooning on Busy Los Angeles Freeway
The convoy of three Volvo semi-trucks zipping along Southern California’s busy 110 Freeway hauling cargo containers looked like other big rigs that ply that busy stretch of highway daily — except that they were only 50 feet apart and there were robots controlling the pedals in two of the vehicles.
The journey Wednesday was a joint demonstration of truck platoon technology by the California Department of Transportation, local agencies, Volvo Group of North America and U.C. Berkeley.
So-called platoon technology allows tightly contained, digitally connected packs of two to five trucks to drive in formation to reduce wind resistance and increase fuel efficiency. The pack can be controlled by a “captain” in the cab of the front vehicle, with the rest following with their own drivers or eventually, autonomously.