Illinois Could be Next State to Allow Freight Trucks to Utilize Emerging Technology

Illinois News Network cited Senior Fellow Marc Scribner on automated vehicle platooning.

“Something like adaptive cruise control, a common driver assistance system,” Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Marc Scribner said. “This is basically connected, adaptive cruise control.”

Freight trucks equipped with the technology would be able to close the gap to as low as 30 feet, reducing air pockets and providing reduction of aerodynamic drag. The estimated fuel savings could be around 7 percent for all the platooning trucks combined, Scribner said.

“There just are not many ways for a trucker to reduce costs,” Scribner said. “This could end up being make or break for some runs and that seven percent average fuel savings means that not only are trucking companies going to be spending less to deliver the same number of goods, that’s going to translate into savings for consumer goods that get moved by these trucks.”

Scribner’s report shows with the exception of Missouri and Iowa, Illinois is mostly surrounded by states that allow it and Illinois’ acceptance would foster greater and safer freight activity.

“What I propose is that [state lawmakers] add an exemption [to the following too closely laws], a simple sentence, and that would allow these trucks on the road,” Scribner said.

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