Aerospace company Lockheed Martin is the latest company to invest in Peloton Technology, a developer of truck platooning systems; joining $17 million investment round, the majority of it funded by DENSO International America and Intel Capital.
“Our partnership is consistent with Lockheed Martin’s approach of researching and investing in disruptive and cutting-edge technologies,” noted Adam Miller, new initiatives director for Lockheed’s missiles and fire control unit, in a statement.
He added that Lockheed Martin has been involved in autonomous vehicle (AV) research for more than three decades, from developing the autonomous land vehicle prototype back in 1985 to its Autonomous Mobility Applique System (AMAS) introduced three years ago that aims to provide driver assistance and automation to military convoys.
Peloton’s truck platooning system follows a similar philosophy; coupling pairs of trucks together electronically via a combination of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, radar-based active braking systems and proprietary vehicle-control algorithms.
The system improves safety and allows trucks to travel at closer distances, which improves aerodynamics and reduces fuel use, noted Peloton CEO Josh Switkes, in a statement.
The company began demonstrating its truck platooning system with fleets and other transportation stakeholders in the U.S. two years ago and said it can reduce fuel consumption by 10% for the rear truck and 4.5% for the front truck, based on industry-standard SAE J1321 Type II fuel economy.
Switkes added that Lockheed seeks to accelerate Peloton’s development and deployment of its truck-platooning technology for the U.S. and international trucking industries with this investment.
“We are excited to be working with Lockheed Martin, a recognized leader in automated vehicles and safety-critical systems," he said. “Lockheed Martin understands and supports our mission of increasing safety and fuel savings across the industry.”