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PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission support automated truck platooning demonstration as part of the Smart Belt Coalition

January 07, 2021 08:00 AM
By: Jan Huzvar

Map of Smart Belt Coalition members
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In late October the Smart Belt Coalition (SBC), a collaboration between transportation agencies, including the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC), as well as educational institutions in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio, conducted an automated truck platooning demonstration that began in Pittsburgh and ended in Michigan. The SBC partnered with Pittsburgh-based technology firm Locomation to complete the demonstration.

Truck platooning is the linking of two or more trucks in convoy using connectivity technology and automated driving support systems. These vehicles automatically maintain a set, close distance between each other when they are connected. Two automated and connected tractor trailers travelled from Pittsburgh, through Ohio, to Michigan.

The SBC and Locomation demonstrated the agency coordination and administrative and procedural requirements necessary for a truck platooning system to operate continuously through the three states. This effort will result in a "lessons learned" document on the steps needed to facilitate a truck platooning and automated driving system operation across jurisdictional boundaries.

While performing the demonstration, the SBC coordinated food donations between The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank and the Forgotten Harvest Food Bank in Detroit.

More on automated vehicle testing in Pennsylvania can be found on the Automated Vehicles page of our website.

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