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A 195-year-old discovery is behind a new system that will save vehicles hundreds of liters of fuel and reduce their carbon emissions by as much as 1,000 tons per year.
Working with automotive manufacturer Scania, researchers from Sweden's KTH Royal Institute of Technology have been testing semi trucks equipped with a system that converts exhaust heat into power – through a process called thermoelectric generation (TEG). The voltage produced by the system can power the truck and reduce the strain on the engine, explains researcher Arash Risseh.
Researchers have a created racing, sliding, and jumping one-fifth-scale, fully autonomous auto-rally cars that runs at the equivalent of 90 mph. The technique uses advanced algorithms to keep the driverless vehicle under control at the edge of its handling limits.
Platooning is nothing new - research into these systems started back in 2009 with EU funding – with the SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project. The project tested combinations of cars, coaches and trucks and resulted in some significant fuel savings across the board between ten and twenty percent.<nowiki>
The first public road test took place back in 2012 in Spain involving three cars and a truck with a gap of 18 feet between each vehicle at a speed of 85 km/h, covering some 200 kilometres.
Since this time, platooning has been trialled in Sweden, Germany and in the United States. Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett commented: “At the outset, it is important to note that these trucks will not be ‘driverless’. Each cab will be manned. As far as we are concerned, this is an issue where the devil lies in the detail.”
Details about platooning can be found in this article: https://www.trucklocator.co.uk/hub/driverless-trucks-platooning-news/