Columbus to Test Partially-Automated Semi-Trucks as Part of Smart City Grant

Among the new initiatives that Columbus will introduce as part of the Smart City Grant it received earlier this year is testing of partially-automated two-truck platoons. In each platoon, a driver will traditionally operate the first truck, and a second truck synchronized to the first will follow it, mirroring the first truck’s braking and acceleration.

Peloton Technology created the technology.

The trucks aren’t “driverless.” In fact, the driver in the second truck will be able to take control of the truck in an emergency. And both truck drivers will steer their vehicles at all times, similar to when a vehicle is on cruise control, Jonny Morris, external affairs and public policy lead of Peloton Technology, told Columbus Business First.

These tests will take place on Alum Creek Drive and Williams Road. First, the technology will undergo tests at Ohio State University’s Transportation Research Center.

The Benefits of Automated Trucks

The use of automatic trucks could have several benefits.

  • Reduction in fuel costs: The shorter following distance between the first and second trucks creates less drag, thus reducing fuel consumption.
  • Free up traffic: Driving in closer proximity to each other, the platoons will take up less space on the road and improve efficiency in intersections.
  • Reduction in accident risk: Many proponents of autonomous vehicles claim that fully driverless vehicles and other crash avoidance technology can reduce the risk of wrecks.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2014, alone, 3,903 people were killed in accidents with semi-trucks, and 111,000 were injured. Some safety advocates and driverless technology experts believe that incorporating this technology can help reduce these accidents.

Meanwhile, if you or a loved one ever suffer injuries in an accident involving a large truck, call Bressman Law at 877-538-1116 to set up a consultation about your case and how you can recover the compensation you need.