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Hodgepodge of Traffic Laws Could Stymie Truck Platooning

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Trucks.com discusses automated vehicle platooning with Marc Scribner, author of Authorizing Automated Vehicle Platooning: A Guide for State Legislators, 2017 Edition.

Truck platooning, which features digitally tethered lines of heavy-duty commercial vehicles driving in formation to reduce drag, is many things: technologically advanced, environmentally beneficial, publicly questioned.

What it might not be is legal.

Existing state laws prohibiting vehicles from following each other too closely might present a major hitch in mainstreaming truck platoons, according to libertarian think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute.

In a document released Wednesday and designed with legislators in mind, the Washington, D.C. group laid out current rules in each state as well potential amendments that would clear platoons for public roads.

Convoys are said to boost fuel economy, limit traffic congestion and improve highway safety using a carefully calibrated mix of sensor-guided automation and human monitoring. But the strategy could run afoul of varying rules already on the books in many states.

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“Within the next few years, automated vehicle technology could reduce the cost of transporting consumer and manufacturing goods around the country if state lawmakers make small changes to state driving laws to allow platooning technology,” Scribner said.

Read the full article at Trucks.com