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Autonomous Road Train Project Completes First Public Road Test 148

Posted by samzenpus
from the follow-the-leader dept.
theodp writes "Covered earlier on Slashdot, but lost in the buzz over the Google driverless car is Project Sartre (Safe Road Trains for the Environment), Europe's experiment with 'vehicle platooning,' which has successfully completed a 125 mile road test on a busy Spain motorway. Three Volvos drove themselves by automatically following a truck in the presence of other, normal road users. The Register reports that on-board cameras, radar and laser tracking allow each vehicle to monitor the one in front, and wirelessly streamed data from the lead vehicle tells each car when to accelerate, break and turn."
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Autonomous Road Train Project Completes First Public Road Test

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  • by Anaerin (905998) on Monday May 28, 2012 @06:09PM (#40137647)
    This system allows anyone to join and leave the train at any time while it is in motion. It allows users to transfer from one train to another. It can form trains of (theoretically) any length. It allows you to choose your own personal entertainment without disturbing anyone else in the train. It allows you to travel from start to destination without having to wait, or go outside. Need I continue?
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Monday May 28, 2012 @09:17PM (#40138563) Homepage

    Most of the time highway traffic is safe and predictable. Driving 125 miles under favorable conditions (perfect weather and visibility if the news photo is any guide) without incident? Drunks do that and often get away with it; so do texting teenagers and fatigued truck drivers.

    If someone demonstrated that he could drive 125 while smoking marijuana without having an accident, would we conclude that driving while high is safe and should be allowed?

    The accident rate on highways is so low that 125 miles tells you nothing at all. The average accident rate in the United States is 8 fatalities per billion passenger miles. There is no way in the world a single 125 mile test involving four vehicles can tell you whether the accident rate for these car-trains is the same, ten times as high, or ten times as low. This is just a stunt, and proves nothing except that someone at Volvo had guts, and that someone in authority exercised bad judgement and allowed it.

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