Lockheed Martin now invests in Peloton Technology to make the trucking industry safer and more fuel-efficient.
According to Fortune, Lockheed Martin signed on to an agreement of $17 million on Aug. 31. The deal was announced by Denso International America and Intel Capital.
Peloton Technology, a startup program from Silicon Valley, has developed a truck platooning system that, in tests, reduced fuel consumption by as much as 10 percent in a group of trucks traveling down the highway.
The system electronically couples pairs of trucks through a combination of vehicle-to-vehicle communications, radar-based braking systems and propriety vehicle-control algorithms. The system is designed to improve safety and allow trucks to travel at closer distances, which improves aerodynamics and reduces fuel costs. A communication link allows the rear truck in the platoon to react automatically to acceleration or braking by the front truck nearly instantaneous. The system approves the linking of pairs of trucks only on suitable roads under appropriate weather, vehicle and
This comes during a time at which fatal truck accidents have become all too common in the United States. According to CNBC, accidents involving trucks have been increasing each year since 2009. This is due to an improving economy results in the shipment of more goods and more pressure is put on companies, drivers especially, to deliver the goods on time. Kendall McGee, an undeclared freshman, spoke about his feelings when encountering one of these trucks.
“If they’re behind me, it doesn’t really bother me that much,” McGee said, “but if I’m trying to pass them, I’m always nervous that they’re not going to see me and start merging over to the next lane.” Brittany Lyons, an elementary education major, also shared her feelings about driving alongside truckers.
“I don’t know how well they’re paying attention, and the fact that they’re driving a big piece of equipment that could easily tip over or wreck into me makes me scared, nervous and pay (better) attention to the road,” – Lyons
Lyons said she has had close encounters with these trucks before. Once, a trucker was merging into a lane and didn’t see her, causing Lyons to drive off the road to avoid a wreck.
Both of these students said they would defi nitely support new technology that would make driving on the road much safer. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, fatal truck accidents happen 11 times every day in the United States. Over 4,000 people are killed and over 100,000 people are injured each year.