Volvo tests 'platooning' for cars

Vehicle manufacturer Volvo has completed an EU-backed trial of 'platooning' aimed at providing multiple road benefits.

Under the process, cars scheduled for long-distance travel will be 'hauled' in a dedicated line by a professional driver in a lead vehicle.

Being part of platooning will let the driver utilise the time behind the wheels for other things, and travelling in a fixed line will also help ease traffic congestion.

It is expected to reduce road accidents by up to 80%, thereby bringing down the number ofcar insurance claims in the process.

The move also brings down overall fuel consumption, thereby cutting CO2 emissions by around 20%.

The cars adjust to each other based on the distance, speed and direction. They are not bound to the others and are free to leave the platoon at any time.

The trial was conducted under EU'sSARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project at the Volvo Proving Ground close to Gothenburg, Sweden. A combination of SARTRE systems was being tested outside the simulators for the first time.

Erik Coelingh, engineering specialist at Volvo Cars, said: "We are very pleased to see that the various systems work so well together already the first time."

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