Thanks to SARTRE road train project, by Volvo Car Corporation and other partners, you may soon be able to take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road in your own car. In the video after the jump, experts explain how a road train works.
Images credit: SARTRE
A manually driven lead truck followed by one truck and cars, which were driven autonomously by SARTRE system at speeds of up to 90 km/h (56 mph).
The SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project, involving seven European partners, has been successfully finalised during 2012.
This unique project highlights the potential for implementing road trains on conventional highways, with platooned traffic operating in a mixed environment with other road users.
Thanks to the partners in the SARTRE road train project, you may soon be able to take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road in your own car – leaving the automated driving to modern technology.
“The road train is the best of two worlds. You can enjoy all the multi-tasking possibilities of public transportation behind the wheel of your own car. It’s the perfect complement to the true pleasure of driving a Volvo yourself,” says Erik Coelingh, Technical Specialist at Volvo Car Corporation.
Four-metre gap between vehicles
Volvo Car Corporation is the only participating car manufacturer in SARTRE. The project road train includes a manually driven lead truck, which is followed by one truck and three Volvo cars (S60, V60 and XC60).
All the following vehicles are driven autonomously at speeds of up to 90 km/h – in some cases with no more than a four-metre gap between the vehicles – thanks to a blend of present and new technology.
“The basic principle is that the following vehicles repeat the motion of the lead vehicle,” says Erik Coelingh. He adds:
“To achieve this we have extended the camera, radar and laser technology used in present safety and support systems such as Adaptive Cruise Control, City Safety, Lane Keeping Aid, Blind Sport Information System and Park Assist Pilot.”
The most important new features that have been added to the vehicles are:
• A prototype Human-Machine Interface including a touch screen for displaying vital information and carrying out requests, such as joining and leaving the road train.
• A prototype vehicle-to-vehicle communication unit that allows all vehicles within the platoon to communicate with each other.