Platooning Tries to Move Past a Work in Progress

The head of Daimler Trucks has questioned, but not completely written off, the business case for heavy-duty truck platooning in light of other emerging technologies and fuel gains from new combination vehicles operating independently.

Tests using combinations of the latest aerodynamic tractors and trailers showed the gains in miles per gallon were “not as high as expected,” said Martin Daum, head of Daimler AG’s trucks and buses divisions. He delivered his comments during the recent IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hanover, Germany.

“When it comes to automated vehicle technology, there is a very compelling business case for these systems,” Daum said. “However, platooning might not be the holy grail we initially thought. Therefore, I am a little bit critical of platooning today.