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Info and Fleet Owner – Technology – Autonomous Vehicles

Info and Fleet Owner – Technology – Autonomous Vehicles

Neil Abt | Jul 17, 2019

Six fleets are using PlatoonPro in real-world conditions, Peloton said.

Peloton outlines plan for platoons with driverless following truck

As company works on Level 4 technology for the future, CEO Switkes says fleets reporting strong fuel efficiency gains with existing PlatoonPro system.

Peloton Technology has unveiled plans to develop Level 4 automated following technology that would allow one truck driver to safely operate two tractor-trailers in a platoon.

“We want to leverage the skill and experience of the lead driver,” Josh Switkes, founder and CEO of Peloton, told Fleet Owner in an interview. “That helps in a variety of ways make this type of automation dramatically simpler than a stand-alone driverless truck.”

Switkes spoke publicly of Peloton’s plans for first time on July 17 at the 2019 Automated Vehicle Symposium in Orlando, FL.

Currently, the company is rolling out its Level 1 PlatoonPro system, which has a driver in both the lead and follow trucks. The driver in the second truck steers, but the system controls the powertrain and brakes to manage the following distance.

PlatoonPro is being used by six fleet customers in real-world conditions, with numerous other customer trials underway. Switkes said the system has a perfect safety record, and customers are achieving fuel savings averaging more than 7%. In some cases, miles per day have exceeded 700 per truck, resulting in projected fuel savings of up to $7,000-10,000 per truck, per year.

Switkes declined to provide specific details on any of the fleets using PlatoonPro, but hinted much of the activity has taken place in Texas. He emphasized one takeaway thus far is how infrequently other vehicles cut into an established platoon, which critics have pointed to as a safety risk and a reason the suggested fuel economy benefits would not be as high in real-world conditions.

Addressing another frequently cited concern, Switkes noted it is rare for significant “hard braking” events to occur. However, the company has spent “a huge amount of time” understanding and measuring braking capabilities to ensure the system will work properly every time, regardless of the circumstances.

As Peloton works today to further deploy PlatoonPro, Switkes said there is no exact timetable for its Level 4 system, stressing that safety testing and validation takes time. But he was confident this technology would prove attractive to an industry struggling with finding enough truckers.

“We see the drivers as the world’s best sensors, and we are leveraging this to enable today’s drivers to be more productive through automated following platoons,” said Switkes.

Peloton’s advanced platooning system will use vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology, which allows the human-driven truck to guide the steering, acceleration and braking of the follow truck. Switkes said he believes the ability to double the productivity of the driver by controlling two vehicles through the platoon will prove attractive to fleets.

He also said the highest skilled drivers will likely operate these future platoons, and could receive higher compensation for their efforts.

Peloton said this will result in “improved work for drivers through better routes, schedules, and compensation, as well as better quality of life through expanding hub-to-hub and relay-style operations that allow drivers to be home with their families every night.”

Separately, a report released on July 17 from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) found that only 20 U.S. states have thus far authorized commercial automated vehicle platooning. The first start to do so was Utah back in 2015.

CEI said “with the coming advent of automated vehicles, numerous sections of state motor vehicle codes likely will need revision if we are to take advantage of the full range of benefits offered by vehicle automation technology.”

For platooning, the legislative hurdle generally surrounds minimum following distances on the highway. The group made two recommendations for altering these regulations while maintaining safety.

First is a “strong amendment,” which would preclude agencies from promulgating any regulations restricting automated vehicle platoons. Next is a “weak amendment,” which would grant motor vehicle authorities discretion in how to promulgate platooning rules.

CEI’s report, “Authorizing Automated Vehicle Platooning: A Guide for State Legislators” is a nationwide inventory of state “following too closely” rules that offers specific, state-by-state fixes to amend statutes in a way that exempts speed-coordinated vehicle platooning from those laws.

“The economic, safety, and environmental benefits of platooning should prompt other states to update their laws,” said Marc Scribner, CEI senior fellow and author of the report.

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ELD exemption for small carriers introduced in U.S. House

Full article can be found here.


A bill was filed Wednesday in the U.S. House that would, if passed, exempt the smallest trucking companies — those with 10 trucks or fewer — from compliance with the U.S. DOT’s electronic logging device mandate on a permanent basis.

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Take Me Home!

The Uber Team met Frank in December of 2016. He’s a career driver who’s constantly on the road. When we asked him what one feature he wished we could create for him, he responded: “Get me home more.”

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New FMCSA head wants ‘productive conversations’ on ELDs, safety

Original article found here.

Nearly a month into his job as FMCSA Administrator, Ray Martinez told an audience at the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) that he looks forward to “meeting great people” and having “productive conversations.”

Martinez addressed the TCA annual convention in Kissimmee, Fla., the morning of Mar. 26. The week before, Martinez spoke to a less friendly audience at the Mid-America Truck Show about the ELD rule.

“I wish (the conversation) could be more productive rather than just anger,” he said about that previous industry meeting. “I am looking for (TCA) for help on how to move the ball forward.”

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We are happy to announce our partnership with Magellan and their ELD Solutions

We are happy to announce our partnership with Magellan and their ELD Solutions

In an effort to continually offer new and beneficial services Transport Financial Services has formed a strategic partnership with Magellan GPS.

Transport Financial Services brings over 55 years of combined experience in Transportation, Logistics, and Online Social Media Marketing. With the Magellan modern ELD solution that works on IOS or Android as well as a hardware solution we can ensure to provide the best level of service, expertise and commitment to excellence as well as an ELD solution that is FMCSA certified.

Not only is it FMCSA certified it also is at a great price POINT!. Check the comparison chart below and you will see for the price you can not beat this great combination from TFS and Magellan.

(Be sure to use promo code TFSMALL when ordering)

TFS & Magellan ELD Offer

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ELD exemption for ag/livestock haulers extended to June

Originally published here.


Truckers hauling agricultural products and livestock have received further reprieve from compliance with the U.S. DOT’s electronic logging device mandate. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Tuesday that such haulers will have until June 18 to adopt an ELD. They can continue to run on paper logs in the meantime.

Ag and livestock haulers had already secured a three-month compliance extension beyond the mandate’s December 18 compliance deadline, giving them until March 18 to comply. However, the agency decided to provide such truckers an additional 90 days to comply so it can “continue to work on outreach and communication with the ag community so they have the fullest understanding of the rule and regulations,” said FMCSA head of enforcement Joe DeLorenzo.

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Post Your Truck to Find Better-Paying Loads

This article can originally be found here.

Chad Boblett is the owner and driver of Boblett Brothers Trucking of Lexington, KY. Chad also founded the Rate Per Mile Masters group on Facebook, a communications hub for more than 18,000 members, including owner-operators, truck drivers, and other transportation and logistics pros. 


It might seem counter intuitive, but I always make sure to post my truck on the load board when there’s plenty of freight to choose from. That’s the best time to get calls from brokers who are willing to pay higher than average rates for loads that are going where you want to go.

A lot of carriers don’t want to post their trucks in a hot market. They worry that they’ll get bombarded with too many calls. My advice: Include more detail in your truck posting, and don’t forget to include your destination.

A lot of truckers will say that they leave the destination blank because they will go anywhere for the right money. That could be true, but it also opens the door to receiving calls about a broker’s “problem” loads — the ones that are hard to cover. Brokers have two main problems when covering loads: either the rate is too low, or the load is going to a dead market that no one wants to go to, or both.

Who wants to get calls on a broker’s problem loads? If you’ve positioned yourself in a market with plentiful freight, reward yourself by getting calls on loads that you really want. Believe me, brokers would much rather call a carrier on a load that matches what the carrier is looking for.

The first thing I learned using the DAT load board was how to get positioned in a hot market. This was because I knew the negotiating power of receiving a call from a broker that needs my service versus calling on loads with less priority.

It Pays to Be Flexible

If you were a broker, would you make the most calls on loads that have to get picked up today or on the loads that can get picked up some time in the next three days? You’re going to call about the one that’s more urgent.

As a carrier, if you are not posting your truck, then you are making calls on load posts. Those loads might be the ones that are less urgent. Rates and negotiations favor the side that has more flexibility. When the broker calls you about a load that needs to move today, there’s not much flexibility. That’s when you can negotiate for an above-average rate.


Contact us today to learn more about DAT load boards, or call 800.551.8847.



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States eye bills to suspend ELD enforcement, ask Congress for mandate repeal

Read original article here.
Legislators in at least four states have introduced proposals in recent weeks to stymie enforcement of the electronic logging device mandate, either by suspending funds for enforcement within their state’s borders or by asking the federal government to reconsider the mandate, enforcement for which began in December.

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Map: A state by state look at ELD mandate enforcement

Read Full Article at here


Courtesy of CCJ sister site Overdrive, the graphic above shows how truck enforcers in each state are handling enforcement of the electronic logging device until April 1. Though the U.S. DOT required nearly all truckers who keep records of duty status to switch to an ELD by December 18, there’s somewhat of a soft enforcement period ongoing until April 1, the date established by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance for when out-of-service orders for non-compliance will begin being issued.

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ELD compliance delay sought by Sikh, Punjabi trucker groups

Read full article here. By Matt Cole

Two groups representing Sikh truckers and Punjabi truckers are petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for a delay in complying with the electronic logging device mandate for members who haul agricultural products, as well as small business trucker members.

SikhsPAC and the North American Punjabiz Trucker Association are requesting the delay for their “fresh produce shipper and small truck business members,” the exemption request states, who the groups say are not fully prepared to meet the mandate’s requirements. The groups also voice concerns over driver privacy in their request, as well as that the ELD marketplace doesn’t accommodate the needs of the agriculture hauling industry and doesn’t factor in existing exemptions.


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