Hyundai has successfully conducted the company’s first platooning of trailer trucks on the Yeoju Smart Highway in Korea. The trial used two 40 -ton trailer-connected Xcient trucks.
Yeoju Smart Highway is a 7.7km test bed within the central region expressway established by the Korean government for the development of autonomous driving technology.
Hyundai says the 60km/h demonstration successfully displayed platooning technology and its ability to perform simultaneous emergency braking and V2V (Vehicle to Vehicle) communication.
Vehicle platooning has the benefit of reducing air resistance to improve fuel efficiency and lower emissions. In Hyundai’s case, the platooning manoeuvre begins when the driver of the following truck approaches the leading vehicle and activates platooning mode.
The following truck maintains a 16.7m distance, with real-time fine tuning based on the leading vehicle’s acceleration and deceleration. The driver does not need to put his/her foot on the accelerator or brakes. Platooning mode also activates lane keeping technology which makes it possible for the driver of the following truck to take hands off the steering wheel. Should other vehicles cut in and out between the platooning trucks, the following truck automatically extends its gap to a minimum of 25m.
Hyundai says that when a leading truck makes a sudden emergency stop the following truck can decelerate and stop. The company adds that the V2V system demonstration showcased how real-time information sharing between platooning vehicles can improve control over acceleration and deceleration, and incorporate ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) information from various sensors such as cameras and radar.
Furthermore, the Real-time Frontal Video Sharing feature was enabled by V2V technology. By displaying videos from the leading vehicle, the following driver can see the road ahead.
“We are confident that our industry leading autonomous driving technology in commercial vehicles showcased in this platooning truck demonstration will lead into a revolutionary paradigm shift in the freight and logistics industry,” said Jihan Ryu, head of Hyundai Motor’s Commercial Vehicle Electronics Control Engineering Group. “We will strive to create constructive synergy by sharing our know-how and experiences of developing autonomous driving technology between commercial vehicle and passenger vehicle sectors to expedite level-5 autonomous driving technology.”