Autonomous Vehicle Tech Not Limited To Smaller Cars

Posted on January 9, 2014

Automotive technology continues to progress at a breakneck pace.  Current vehicles are already equipped with lane departure warnings and forward collision alerts, and the future holds Vehicle to Vehicle Communication that allows automobiles to interact with one another to reduce the risk of an accident.  And perhaps no technology is more promising that the self-driving car, testing of which has been underway for years now.

However, it’s important to understand that these systems aren’t the sole domain of passenger automobiles.  Even larger semi-trucks could benefit from the collision avoidance systems being rolled out, and researchers are busy making sure that the systems some automobile owners take for granted become a vital part of tractor trailer safety too.

Those efforts are explored in a new report, with Volvo leading the charge for larger trucks that are capable of piloting without the input of a driver.  However, these vehicles in their current state work a little differently than the fully autonomous automobiles being tested by the likes of Google.  Tests are underway in which a lead truck, controlled by a driver, actually syncs up with other trucks behind it, with those vehicles mimicking their motions to improve efficiency.

Those tests took place in Europe, and the European Commission is supporting continued efforts to develop this tech and establish a legislative framework that would make autonomy possible.

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