Omnitracs, Peloton partner on driver-assistive truck platooning and development

Feb. 22, 2017

Omnitracs LLC, a global supplier of fleet management solutions to transportation and logistics companies, announced that it has partnered with Peloton Technology, a developer of connected and automated vehicle systems for US and global freight carriers.

Omnitracs and Peloton will collaborate to bring Peloton’s industry-leading truck platooning technology to Omnitracs customers. The partners will also develop joint solutions that combine each company’s safety, efficiency, and fleet management capabilities.

Peloton will begin filling pre-orders of its flagship platooning product for Class 8 trucks in 2017. The technology synchronizes braking and acceleration between pairs of trucks through the integration of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications with state-of-the-art, radar-based collision avoidance systems, enabling the trucks to travel safely at aerodynamic following distances. The Peloton system generates 4.5% fuel savings for the lead truck and 10% for the follow truck in a two-truck platoon, according to independent testing by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency.

For the driver of the follow truck, the Peloton system works similarly to adaptive cruise control with the added safety feature of V2V communications to enable automated braking within 0.1 second of braking by the lead truck. The driver of each truck controls steering while the platooning system coordinates speed and distance between the trucks--meeting the definition of SAE Level 1 automated driving.

Platoons are managed continuously by a cloud-based network operations center that connects to trucks through cellular and Wi-Fi communications. Cloud-based supervision limits operation of platoons to specified roads in safe driving conditions.

“Peloton has developed technology that is on the cutting edge of advanced driver assistance systems and the automated vehicle movement,” said John Graham, chief executive officer of Omnitracs. “Its emphasis on spatial awareness is a crucial and foundational component of improving truck safety and fuel efficiency.”

For Omnitracs, the partnership with Peloton is in keeping with the company’s history of innovation and leadership within the transportation industry. Omnitracs offers fleet customers the most comprehensive suite of end-to-end transportation technology solutions available for improving fleet-wide fuel economy, safety and compliance.

Peloton will help to roll out practical, cost-saving automated vehicle technology featuring leading-edge cybersecurity to Omnitracs customers, beginning with two-truck platooning. Omnitracs has a large customer base in the long-haul trucking segment which stands to benefit significantly from platooning.

“We are excited to be part of the first partnership of a commercial platooning system supplier with a leading fleet management provider,” said Joshua Switkes, founder and chief executive officer of Peloton Technology. “We will offer expanded opportunities for platooning across the broad customer base that Omnitracs has attracted by focusing on cost advantages for fleets.”

A key operational benefit of the partnership for fleet customers will be optimized matching opportunities for inter-fleet platooning, leveraging Omnitracs’ routing and dynamic dispatch applications to provide navigation assistance and clear savings calculations for scheduled and ad-hoc platoons of trucks from different fleets.

“This partnership will offer benefits to fleets of all sizes,” said Butch Winters, Peloton’s vice-president of products, sales, and business development. “In addition to helping fleets find more opportunities for platooning, we’re working with Omnitracs on new product features to enhance safety and efficiency for fleets and drivers.”

Co-developed solutions from the partnership may include integrated cloud-based fleet management services and hardware.