The European Truck Platooning Challenge, organised by Rijkswaterstaat, featured DAF Trucks, Daimler Trucks, Iveco, MAN Truck and Bus, Scania and Volvo Group; driving in platoons across national borders. This was a global first. Truck platooning means that two or three trucks connected by wifi drive in a column, with the first truck determining the speed and route. This enables shorter gaps between following trucks, while freeing space for other vehicles. The wifi connection between the trucks ensures synchronized braking and can prevent sudden jolt/shock effects. This is good news for traffic flows and speeds up deliveries. Truck platooning can realize up to ten per cent fuel savings. As well as reducing CO2 emissions, this can also mean a significant savings for businesses.
Six columns of trucks arrived at Maasvlakte II after they had driven from a number of European cities to Rotterdam over the past several days.
Shipping a full truckload from L.A. to New York costs around $4,500 today, with labor representing 75 percent of that cost. But those labor savings aren’t the only gains to be had from the adoption of driverless trucks.
Where drivers are restricted by law from driving more than 11 hours per day without taking an 8-hour break, a driverless truck can drive nearly 24 hours per day. That means the technology would effectively double the output of the U.S. transportation network at 25 percent of the cost.
Trucking represents a considerable portion of the cost of all the goods we buy, so consumers everywhere will experience this change as lower prices and higher standards of living.
There are currently more than 1.6 million Americans working as truck drivers.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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