A platoon is the smallest fighting unit of the army comprising 33 personnel. They are not divided further and stay and fight together. You will ask, what has that got to do with transport technology. Well! platooning is a technology wherein two or more commercial vehicles are connected to each other wirelessly. The vehicle at the front is driven, while those behind it follow it across the highway maintaining a safe distance at all times.
Austria’s AVL is the world’s largest independent company for the development, simulation and testing technology of powertrains. They develop technologies for passenger cars, trucks and large engines. AVL has developed technology to allow heavy commercial vehicles to platoon. It is believed that platooning, when commercialised, will lead to approximately 10% reduction in fuel consumption and reduction in cost of transportation as one driver would be able to drive a platoon of trucks to their destination. The technology was recently tested on road AVL along with the commercial vehicle JV of Ford in Turkey called the Ford Otosan.
A demonstration of the technology was done at the test track at Ford Otosan’s Eskişehir Plant in Turkey using Ford’s new F-MAX tractor units. A convoy of two trucks was successfully operated connected wirelessly. AVL and Ford state that this test is the first step in developing the technology further to develop Level 4 autonomous trucks which will be able to operate as a platoon.