ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — A demonstration conducted by the Smart Belt Coalition and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recently tested automated truck driving from Pittsburgh to Michigan. Today, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced their support of the initiative.
According to the PennDOT secretary, this testing has been at the forefront of Pennsylvania’s research and development.
“Automated vehicle testing has been ongoing in recent years, and has expanded to nine organizations, testing across 56 Pennsylvania counties,” says Yassmin Gramian.
The development is called “truck platooning”: the linking of two or more trucks as they travel together, maintaining a set distance between each other.
This technology comes from a partnership with the Pittsburgh based technology firm, Locomotion.
“Working together, we will be able to more effectively advance these emerging technologies for all motorists,” says Mark Compton, CEO of the PA Turnpike Commission.
Truck drivers will still be behind the wheel, however, and they’ll be required to learn this new technology.
“Automated vehicle technology has the potential to help make transportation safer, increase mobility, reduce vehicle emissions, and provide new mobility options for the people of the Commonwealth,” states Gramian.
The companies are now analyzing their findings from the demonstration to pinpoint the next steps for getting these trucks on the road — safely.