Peloton applauds Michigan for truck platooning

Peloton Technology applauded Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s signing of S.B. 995 into law. The legislation authorizes electronically-coordinated truck platooning on Michigan roads by creating an exception to the state’s required minimum following distance for commercial vehicles of 500 ft.

“With the signing of this landmark law, Michigan now leads the nation in the rollout of commercial truck platooning,” said Josh Switkes, CEO of Peloton Technology, a developer of connected and automated vehicle systems. “We are proud to be working with forward-looking state leaders like those in Michigan who prioritize prudent, driver-assistive truck automation systems that will provide strong economic benefits and improve the safe, efficient movement of goods."

A minority of the states in the U.S. have numeric minimum following distances that apply to commercial vehicles, ranging from 100 feet to 500 feet. According to Peloton, these rules represent a hurdle to truck platooning, which integrates technologies including vehicle-to-vehicle communications, adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance systems which did not exist at the time the rules were enacted.

“We are committed to advancing safety and efficiency in commercial trucking operations and accelerating the economic benefits that result from improving the movement of goods,” said Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation. “Michigan is proud to be a leader in paving the way for the deployment and growth of vehicle platooning technologies.”

Under the new law, the Michigan Department of Transportation and Michigan State Police will review plans submitted to the agencies by the operators of platoons before vehicles are allowed to platoon on the state’s roads.

The law also requires that truck platoons allow access for other vehicles to move safely between platooning trucks. In addition, drivers holding a valid commercial driver license must be behind the wheel of every truck in a platoon.

“It is tremendous to see this leadership by Michigan which will accelerate progress across the nation. We are actively working with Michigan to develop our plan for initial and ongoing platooning operations in the state,” said Steve Boyd, Peloton’s VP of external affairs. “Our plan includes early activities to promote public awareness on the key role of professional drivers in our truck platooning system and the safety, efficiency and mobility benefits that this technology provides to fleets and the public.”

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