Knorr-Bremse is working on a system for truck platooning and will shortly be testing it on US highways with a view to gauging driver acceptance and assessing the feasibility of fully networked truck convoys.
“Platooning involves electronically linked trucks following a lead vehicle at a short distance behind each other. Their aerodynamic alignment saves significant quantities of fuel, and Knorr-Bremse assistance systems mean that rear-end collisions resulting from driver inattention are ruled out,” explained Dr. Peter Laier, Member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse and responsible for the Commercial Vehicle Systems division. The basis for platooning is provided by standard, volume-produced Knorr-Bremse driver assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control and the emergency braking assistant. Data from the brakes and sensors in the lead vehicle is transmitted wirelessly to the other trucks in the convoy and this ‘electronic drawbar’ effect enables the gap between them to be significantly reduced.
Since early 2015 Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Knorr-Bremse’s US subsidiary, has been developing the platooning system and has already demonstrated a prototype to various fleet operators. The company is currently working with a partner on preparing a field test on US highways, with a view to assessing driver acceptance and gaining insights about regulatory requirements.