GPS-based road trains begin European testing

GPS-based road trains begin European testing

GPS Road Train

A futuristic new study has kicked off over in Europe which may, one day, make the roads safer and easier to drive on. The Safe Road Trains for the Environment program is a three-year European study centering on the creation of ‘platoons’ of drivers slotting in behind a lead vehicle on the highway. What it does is involve wiring cars to communicate to each other, and to a lead vehicle — the platoon commander — behind which up to eight cars could follow completely automated.

One aim of the study is to find a way to make travel more efficient and lower gas usage without having to put sensors in roads, or creating an entirely new standard of equipment. Also by using a lead vehicle that can potentially take control of the vehicles behind — cars, trucks or buses — makes it very flexible since it can travel on any highway.

So how will it work? Well say you’re heading out of town on the motorway and you see a platoon rolling on the highway ahead, and if there’s room, you signal your wish to join. The lead vehicle takes control of your car, and it is pulled into the formation, leaving you free to do whatever you want to do perhaps even send text messages. When you want to get out, you signal your intention, a gap is made and you get control of your car again, just like that.

The study will be conducted on test tracks in Spain, Sweden and the UK, with additional trials on public road in Spain.

GPS Road Train

A futuristic new study has kicked off over in Europe which may, one day, make the roads safer and easier to drive on. The Safe Road Trains for the Environment program is a three-year European study centering on the creation of ‘platoons’ of drivers slotting in behind a lead vehicle on the highway. What it does is involve wiring cars to communicate to each other, and to a lead vehicle — the platoon commander — behind which up to eight cars could follow completely automated.

One aim of the study is to find a way to make travel more efficient and lower gas usage without having to put sensors in roads, or creating an entirely new standard of equipment. Also by using a lead vehicle that can potentially take control of the vehicles behind — cars, trucks or buses — makes it very flexible since it can travel on any highway.

So how will it work? Well say you’re heading out of town on the motorway and you see a platoon rolling on the highway ahead, and if there’s room, you signal your wish to join. The lead vehicle takes control of your car, and it is pulled into the formation, leaving you free to do whatever you want to do perhaps even send text messages. When you want to get out, you signal your intention, a gap is made and you get control of your car again, just like that.

The study will be conducted on test tracks in Spain, Sweden and the UK, with additional trials on public road in Spain.

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