DUBLIN, April 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Volkswagen has announced it will spend almost $600 million by 2020 on improving automated connectivity in its heavy-goods vehicles. Heavy truck manufacturer MAN SE, of which Volkswagen owns a stake, spoke about how autonomous truck capabilities may first appear in the form of truck platooning at a recent event in Munich. Truck platooning is when a human-driven truck is followed in convoy by semi-automated trucks.
Autonomous car and truck shipments are predicted to rise to $868 million by 2021. This growth is a result of various moves toward autonomous vehicles that park themselves, provide automated steering and that provide driver alerts but fall short of complete robotically operated car vehicles. This announcement suggests VW is now pushing automated features and new mobility technologies.
Automated features could improve communication of on-board sensors with automatic braking and other systems. In the US, it is expected that by the end of 2016, 40% of vehicle value cost would account for electronic systems and components. The heavy trucks on-board diagnostics, in particular, is expected to grow at a rate of 3.27% by 2019.
Speaking in Munich, MAN said platooning could help reduce diesel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions in road freight transport by as much as 10%. A recent report on automotive sensors also made this point, highlighting how companies were turning to automotive sensors for lower emissions, improved fuel economy, and onboard diagnostic requirements.
This come after research from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) found that automatic emergency braking (AEB) could decrease truck fatalities by between 44 and 47 percent. Four key groups within the trucking industry have already filed a petition requesting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration make AEB mandatory for all new trucks.
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