Is truck platooning coming to Texas?

It is not unusual for you to encounter semi-trucks with two or even three trailers on the Texas roadways. The couplings that link these vehicles are visible, but there may soon be large trucks crossing the state that are connected solely through technology. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute provided a demonstration to the Texas Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration that indicates how the truck platooning system works.

If a driver gets too close to your rear bumper, it may make you feel uncomfortable. However, a successful truck platoon is all about tailgating. When trucks follow each other closely, it reduces wind resistance and increases fuel efficiency. This may benefit you in the form of lower costs on consumer goods that have been shipped via highway.

You may be worried about the notoriously long stopping distances that loaded tractor trailers require. However, when linked, the braking systems of the two trucks are synchronized and controlled solely by the driver in the lead vehicle. This is also true of the steering and acceleration. The driver in the rear vehicle would not be responsible for these functions while platooning unless there is a need for a manual override. While disengaged from active driving, the operator in the rear would not be free to relax and enjoy the ride. Instead, his or her duties would involve monitoring the performance of the system and related tasks.

Some officials believe you could begin seeing truck platoons on certain Texas roadways in as few as five years. This information is educational in nature and does not constitute legal advice.

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