One of the coolest tech projects out there is Volvo’s SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment). Volvo gave the project a boost of public awareness, and maybe trust.
The 124-mile Spanish test both proved that the cars could stay driverless without posing a threat and upped the ante for what the cars could do: the lead truck, an S60, a V60 and an XC60 all moved along at a brisk 53MPH with a tighter gap between vehicles than there was in the original test, at just 20 feet.
In the most recent SARTRE the ‘Safe Road Train’ portion was so successful that they’ve turned their focus to the second half: ‘the Environment’. Volvo wants to make sure that fuel use drops by 20 percent thanks to these road trains.
After the test on the public roads in Spain, the project is now entering a new phase with the focus on analysis of fuel consumption. “We’ve learnt a whole lot during this period. People think that autonomous driving is science fiction, but the fact is that the technology is already here. From the purely conceptual viewpoint, it works fine and road train will be around in one form or another in the future,” says Linda Wahlström.
The future of the product is out there. The business model is still unclear. However, the product isn’t costly, and the only component added to the cars is a wireless network that allows the train to communicate.
It’s very exciting.
Image Source: Engadget