Encouraged by what they learned during last year’s test campaign, FPInnovations and its partners plan to continue evaluating cooperative truck platooning technology in the coming months. This year’s goals are more ambitious.
Researchers, in addition to confirming developments in the technology since last year, will be focusing on steering control in the following trucks. The data collected will be used to get an accurate picture of the technology’s current capabilities and how it must be adapted for use on unpaved resource roads. This will allow us to confirm and update the roadmap for introducing the concept of truck platooning on unpaved roads.
FPInnovations is also exploring the possibility of working with other sectors that have organizational and technological challenges similar to those facing the forestry industry in order to develop partnerships to speed up the required developments.
Key takeaways from the November 2018 trials in La Tuque, Québec:
- Platooning technology, with adjustments, is viable on resource roads;
- Application for the forestry industry is to automate the following trucks in order to address the driver shortage and not to achieve fuel savings;
- The forest environment has an impact on platooning: receiving a GPS signal, maintaining a following distance between vehicles, braking;
- No impact was observed on message transmission by dedicated short range communication (DSRC) protocol; and
- Specific platooning challenges are associated with resource roads.