Autonomous trucks platoons just pulled off a landmark feat. How it will impact fleet management and CDL driving jobs in the future remains to be seen. Fierce Mobile IT writer Alyssa Huntley recently wrote about the event—six brands of autonomous trucks that successfully platooned across Europe for the first time in history.
The automated trucks platooned across Europe and arrived in Maavlakte seaport in the Netherlands in April.
The journeys completed as part of the European Truck Platooning Challenge, an operation put on by Rijkswaterstaat. The Netherlands’ main infrastructure design, management and maintenance organization. Truck platooning could potentially be used for freight shipping, the article explained.
In platooning, two to three trucks drive in a single-file line – referred to as a column – along the highway. A human operates the lead truck, with autonomous trucks following connected via Wi-Fi. The lead truck determines speed and route, transmitted over the Wi-Fi connection.
Trucks follow more closely, freeing up space along the highway for other vehicles.
The Wi-Fi connection results in synchronized breaking and reduces the likelihood of sudden jolts or shocks, which could help traffic flow and speed up deliveries. Fuel costs could go down by up to 10%, which would come with a reduction in CO2 emissions, the article noted.
“This opens the door for upscaled, cross-border truck platooning,” Schultz van Haegen said. Van Haegen noted that the information gathered in the challenge proves useful during an informal European transport council meeting in Amsterdam on April 14. “It certainly helps my colleagues and I discuss the adjustments needed to make self-driving transport a reality,” he said.
The technology is still being refined. Autonomous driving has been a hot topic in the industry lately, but how will it affect people with CDL truck driving jobs? This is a topic we will continue to follow.
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