Truck fleets could expect fuel savings of up to 10 percent using platooning, as demonstrated on a North Carolina highway.

Volvo Trucks North America, in collaboration with FedEx and the North Carolina Turnpike Authority, used Volvo's Level 1 adaptive cruise control system to demonstrate the benefits of truck platooning.

Durham and Wake Counties,Raleigh,North Carolina,United States

Summary Information

In April, May, and June of 2018, Volvo Trucks America, FedEx, and the North Carolina Turnpike Authority conducted real-world testing of truck platooning technologies along interstate 540 in North Carolina. The trucks utilize dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) and Volvo’s vehicle to vehicle (V2V) technology to hold a steady speed of 62 mi/h along a 20-mile loop on interstate 540.

Truck platooning allows trucks in sequence to match speed at a safe following distance. The truck's onboard computer calculates the following distance using the geographic coordinates from the lead truck. This allows trucks to follow each other more closely than usual, thus reducing drag and boosting fuel efficiency. The technologies used in this demo allowed the three-truck platoon to wirelessly share information on braking activity, direction, speed and potential obstacles. This platooning demonstration is part of an ongoing research collaboration between Volvo Trucks North America, FedEx and the North Carolina Turnpike Authority. Truck platooning could serve as a potential solution to the industry's driver shortage, according to some experts.

A three-truck platoon, using DSRC and V2V technologies by the same manufacturer, successfully maintained a steady speed of 62 mi/h and following distance of 1.5 seconds in an open-road platooning demonstration along a 20-mile loop (known as the "Triangle Expressway") on North Carolina Highway 540. As part of the highway demonstration, a black Cadillac Escalade in the left lane cut in front of the truck. When the Escalade crossed over, the platooning system temporarily disengaged and then automatically resumed when the Escalade changed lanes again. During the three months prior to this test on Thursday, June 28, 2018, the collaborators paired Volvo tractors with FedEx trailers to test actual routes and trailer loads on the Triangle Expressway. This expressway is one of ten locations designated for advanced vehicle technologies testing by the USDOT.

  • Fuel Economy: Fleet customers could expect fuel savings of up to 10 percent using platooning.
  • Following Distance: The three-truck platoon was able to maintain a speed of 62 mi/h and following distance of 1.5 seconds, which is closer than usual. This short following distance between trucks is likely to improve traffic congestion, lessen resistance, improve fuel economy and improve safety.
  • Safety: The V2V system helps the convoy react quicker to potential obstacles.

Benefit Comments

No comments posted to date

Comment on this Benefit

To comment on this summary, fill in the information below and click on submit. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field. Your name and email address, if provided, will not be posted, but are to contact you, if needed to clarify your comments.


Volvo Trucks, FedEx Demo Platooning Tech on North Carolina Interstate

Author: Trop, Jaclyn

Published By: International

Source Date: 06/28/2018



Average User Rating

1 (14 ratings)

Rate this Benefit

(click stars to rate)

Typical Deployment Locations



None defined

Benefit ID: 2019-01380