FedEx and Volvo Trucks demonstrate platooning on the Triangle Expressway

FedEx and Volvo Trucks demonstrate platooning on the Triangle Expressway

FedEx and Volvo Trucks have announced a successful demonstration of truck platooning technology on North Carolina’s N.C. 540 highway (the Triangle Expressway).

In a statement issued yesterday (27 June), FedEx said that this was the first public on-highway showcase of platooning technology between a major truck manufacturer and a transportation company in the US.

“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.”

The platoon” consisted of three Volvo VNL tractors, each pulling double 28-foot trailers. There were trained truck drivers in the cabs of all three tractors. The tractors and trailers – which were in constant communication via Volvo’s Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) – traveled at speeds of up to 62 mph while keeping a time gap of 1.5 seconds.

As previously reported, platooning can help to improve fuel efficiency by reducing drag. According to FedEx: “Drag accounts for up to 25% of a truck’s total fuel consumption, and the closer the trucks drive to each other, the greater the fuel-saving potential. Reducing the traveling distance between vehicles also allows for greater highway utilization, helping alleviate traffic congestion.”

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