Daimler Trucks to test truck ‘platooning’ technology on U.S. roads

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(Reuters) – German automaker Daimler AG’s trucks division said it would test on U.S. roads a new technology called “platooning”, which allows large digitally-connected trucks to save fuel by driving close to each other in a row.

Portland, Oregon-based Daimler Trucks North America LLC said on Monday it received permission from the regional regulatory body, Oregon Department of Transportation, after successful trials in its proving ground in Madras, Oregon.

In truck “platooning”, connectivity and automated driving improve safety within the vehicle convoys, support drivers and enhance efficiency with closer distances between the connected trucks, the company said.

Daimler Trucks would test its “platooning” technology in two connected Cascadia, Freightliner’s heavy duty semi-trailer truck, in the first step called “pairing,” the company said.

Some companies, including Silicon Valley startup Peloton Technology, are working on this technology. Peloton is working with several truck makers, including Volvo, on its platooning system, which it sees as a precursor to autonomous systems.

Tesla Inc, which has been a leader in developing self-driving technology for its luxury cars, is developing a long-haul, electric semi-truck that can drive itself and move in “platoons,” Reuters reported last month.

Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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