South Korea on Friday demonstrates platooning of cooperative automated driving-based trucks on public roads for the first time, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
Hyundai Motor’s Xcient trucks. [Photo by Hyundai Motor Co.]
Cooperative autonomous driving refers to an autonomous vehicle driving stably while exchanging information related to various road conditions and infrastructure. Vehicle platooning is a technology that utilizes cooperative automated driving technology to operate several vehicles as one vehicle by having trucks automatically follow the leading vehicle.
The transport ministry has budgeted 13.4 billion won ($12.1 million) since 2018 to develop related technology jointly with 13 other entities including Korea Expressway Corporation, Kookmin University, and Hyundai Motor.
The latest platooning demonstration of trucks will be carried out on an 8-kilometer public road between West Yeoju IC and Yeoju Junction and on testing road in Yeoju. The test will involve Hyundai Motor’s Xcient trucks.
The transport ministry said that it will demonstrate the platooning of three Xcient trucks on public expressway and test its stability. It will also demonstrate driving condition while adjusting speed and direction according to the leading vehicle without the driver of following trucks touching the handle and pedal via vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication technology.
The demonstration will also involve testing out line maintenance by widening the gap between the trucks when another vehicle cuts in and also line clearance after operation.
On testing road, the ministry plans to demonstrate line changing and emergency braking functions virtually supposing a dangerous situation. For example, the trucks will be able to widen the gap between each other in areas with an unclear view due to fog by utilizing vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology that delivers information of an unexpected situation on the road to the vehicle through base stations on the roadside. It will also test stability of the platooning of trucks by checking lane changing capability upon construction section ahead.
The ministry will also test if the trucks behind are able to operate emergency braking system if the leading vehicle hitting the brake supposing that a wild animal has appeared.
Compared with the demonstration carried out last year, this year’s test-out has added one more truck in the platooning. It will also be carried out not only on testing road but on actual public road with actual cars, the ministry said.
Next year, the ministry plans to demonstrate platooning of four trucks on larger public road on 90 kilometer per hour speed.
The ministry expected that once the platooning of trucks is commercialized, it will reduce fatigue of truck drivers through automated driving system. It will also improve fuel efficiency and emit less fine dust and carbon dioxide as there will be lower air resistance when several trucks are operated closely to each other.
The transport ministry said that the latest demonstration will show that cooperative autonomous driving technology can be applied not only in passenger vehicles but also other service sectors such as logistics transportation and bring revolution.
By Lee Eun-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]