March 24, 2016 4:25 PM, EDT

Peloton Exec Says Platooning Technology, Access to Data Improve Freight Movement

WASHINGTON — Improvements in platooning technology and incorporating data trends will help boost fuel efficiency and freight connectivity in the coming years, Steve Boyd, co-founder and vice president of external affairs at Peloton, said at an event here.

“As you may know, the trucking industry is one industry that actually has a driver shortage, a labor shortage. So technology is a solution that reduces the number of drivers needed that don’t actually cut jobs,” Boyd said March 24 at the “Convergence: The Intersection of Technology and Transportation” conference hosted by the Eno Center for Transportation.

“I think we’re seeing this process in all industries: The need for better data visibility, better data visualization and actionability, and it’s needed desperately in this business,” Boyd added.

There have been advances in platooning technology across the industry recently. Companies, such as Daimler and Volvo Group, are developing trucks with the capability to communicate wirelessly and drive with only about a 1-second gap between the vehicles in a platoon. This close formation of the trucks reduces drag and improves fuel economy.

Earlier this week, Daimler Trucks showcased a three-truck platoon on Germany’s autobahn, as part of an event to spotlight the benefits of connectivity. Last week, Volvo embarked on a platoon demonstration drive from Gothenburg, Sweden, to Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Boyd noted those advances contribute to fuel-efficiency gains across the industry.