Volvo says "road train" technology trials are a success
The concept of vehicle platooning is based on a convoy of vehicles where a professional driver in a lead vehicle drives a line of other vehicles, with each vehicle determining its distance, speed and direction based on the car in front. Drivers are left free to focus on other things, for example reading the paper, and can leave the convoy at any time.
Reported benefits include improved road safety – it removes the need for human participation in driving, which is said to be the cause of at least 80% of accidents. It also benefits the environment through a reduction of up to 20% in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. It could also help relieve traffic congestion.
Volvo says that the technology development is well underway and could go into production in a few years' time but admits that public acceptance and European legislation (at least 25 EU governments must pass similar laws) could take a lot longer.