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Old Posted Nov 10, 2009, 4:51 PM
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M II A II R II K M II A II R II K is offline
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'Road trains' get ready to roll

'Road trains' get ready to roll


9 November 2009

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8349923.stm

Quote:
Road trains that link vehicles together using wireless sensors could soon be on European roads.

- An EU-financed research project is looking at inexpensive ways of getting vehicles to travel in a 'platoon' on Europe's motorways. Each road train could include up to eight separate vehicles - cars, buses and trucks will be mixed in each one.

- The EU hopes to cut fuel consumption, journey times and congestion by linking vehicles together. Early work on the idea suggests that fuel consumption could be cut by 20% among those cars and trucks travelling behind the lead vehicle.

- The lead vehicle would be handled by a professional driver who would monitor the status of the road train. Those in following vehicles could take their hands off the wheel, read a book or watch TV, while they travel along the motorway. Their vehicle would be controlled by the lead vehicle.



The driver's sat-nav indicates that there is a road train ahead that is following some of his/her planned journey.




The driver approaches the road train, which is controlled by a professional driver at the front, and indicates that he/she wishes to join.




The road train takes control of the extra car, pulling it close to cut air drag and save about 20% in fuel consumption.




The drivers can relax until they wish to leave the road train, at which point they signal their intention to the driver at the front.




A bigger gap will be made to allow the car to leave and control of the vehicle will be returned to that driver.

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Old Posted Nov 10, 2009, 6:19 PM
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Combine this with electric cars and we've got a pretty excellent way of maximizing efficiency not just of the cars but also of road-space. The biggest issue I see with it is not the co-ordination between the on-board computers, but the lead driver. How and why would there be enough professionally driven lead vehicles driving around? makes not so much sense to me.
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2009, 10:49 PM
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Odd/neat, though I don't really understand. Who are these lead drivers? People who are employed by the government? Truckers? What happens to the vehicles behind a car leaving the convoy?
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Old Posted Nov 11, 2009, 5:58 AM
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Dylan Leblanc Dylan Leblanc is offline
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I'd be really surprised if this becomes a success.
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