PennDOT, Turnpike Commission join in platooning demo

November 2, 2020

PennDOT and the Pa. Turnpike Commission participated in a recent demonstration of automated truck platooning, consisting of a 280-mile mission from the Pittsburgh area to food banks in Ohio and Michigan.

“Platooning” is a term for linking two or more trucks in a convoy using technology and automated driving systems that maintain a set distance between vehicles.

The demonstration was under the auspices of the Smart Belt Coalition, consisting of transportation agencies in Ohio and Michigan, as well as Pennsylvania. The trucks carried food donations to the food banks.

PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner noted that platooning could provide several benefits, including improved safety and reduced congestion, along with helping to fill a truck driver shortage.

“It hasn’t been that long ago that platooning was just an idea, but now we’re seeing the idea bloom into the testing and demonstration phases,” Wagner said. “As is the case with autonomous vehicles, these things are happening much more quickly than many people anticipated.”

For more information about the platooning demonstration project, click here.


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