In July 2019, we announced our initial commercial operations of PlatoonPro and our vision for Level 4 Automated Following as the next phase in trucking automation. Now that we have been working to bring safety, fuel economy, and operational efficiency to the industry for most of this decade, we want to take a look back at how we got here.
From the very beginning, we have included professional truck drivers in our design. These professional test drivers included both hired truck drivers like Derrick, as well as former truck drivers turned engineers like Joe, who was our very first intern and put together the first desks in our original office (which was really more like a garage–just enough space for a few desks and a truck!).
Joe (right), Austin (center), and Josh’s dog Alex (left) in the new office
Over the years we built a tremendous team, including those drivers and also key engineers from various disciplines, such as John. This team built the core technology to deliver safety and the other benefits, leveraging V2V communications in platooning combined with Cloud and LTE capabilities.
By showing the power of these technologies to provide safety on public roads, we were able to work with state and federal regulators, changing regulations in 30 states so far. While in conversation with regulators, we provided a number of platooning demonstrations, allowing us to both prove the system we had built while also getting feedback from external participants.
The crew for an early platooning demonstration
Before we ever demonstrated the technology, the concept of using real trucks in the real world, safely, has been critical to developing the system; we have an extensive testing process to ensure that every change is verified and validated. Performing and documenting these tests culminated into our safety report that we published earlier this year.
Along the way, we received various forms of recognition, including the BP’s Advancing Low Carbon Program and a feature in the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum for our platooning hardware design. We’re honored by the accolades we’ve received and will continue to push for excellence in safety, efficiency, and experience.
Overall, this past decade has been an exciting (and safe) ride. We’ve aimed to make trucking safer and more efficient–and we believe we have achieved that goal through commercialization of PlatoonPro. But, we’re not stopping there. We are excited about the future of trucking and the role platooning and Peloton will play in the development of the industry!