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21 January 2011

Miscellaneous

Revolutionary Road Train

Since petrol prices went up, has anyone started to feel the pinch? It's about time we began to research new ways to use cars efficiently.

I have been driving since 2006 - but in the short amount of time I have been on the road, fuel costs have risen by almost 35p. And the other thing which has to be considered is how we drive as a high percentage of motorists seem to drive erratically and uneconomically.

I recently read an article about a group of techies from Europe who have come up with what they believe could be a real game changer for the automotive industry: the car train.

The idea will see vehicles form into a semi autonomous convoy on the road. A test was done by a European research project called SARTRE - Safe Road Trains for the Environment.

This video shows one of the group's test runs where a test car is travelling behind a lorry and then letting the driver of the lorry take control.

Eventually they are hoping that these trains could be as long as 10 cars long, and travel at speeds of up to 90 kilometres per hour. The theory behind it is that a car train will cut fuel costs due to less erratic acceleration boost safety and potentially cut congestion.

All good theories but there are just so many questions to ask in regards to this new creation. How does it work, how do we choose lead drivers? How do you regain control of your car? I am not sure the creators even know the answers to these questions yet.

It's a scary prospect that in the next 10 years our commute to work or family trip will be different. But there needs to be advances with how we drive. Costs are only going to rise and our incomes aren't.

This project is a start, and it will be interesting to see how it progresses.

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