Peloton Technology, a developer of automated truck driving technology that the company says delivers advanced safety, fuel savings and analytics to trucking fleets, has closed a $16 million Series A investment round led by Denso International America, an automotive supplier of advanced technology, and Intel Capital, the global investment arm of the technology giant.
Additional financing came from venture capital funds and industry investors including Magna International, Castrol innoVentures, Volvo Group Venture Capital and UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund. Peloton says the financing will accelerate its development and deployment of truck platooning technology for the US and international trucking industries.
The Peloton Truck Platooning System is a vehicle automation technology that electronically couples pairs of trucks through a combination of vehicle-to-vehicle communications, radar-based active braking systems and proprietary vehicle-control algorithms. The direct communication link between the two trucks enables the rear truck to automatically react to acceleration or braking by the front truck nearly instantaneously.
The company says this automatic and immediate reaction improves safety and allows trucks to travel at closer distances, which also improves aerodynamics and reduces fuel use on both vehicles.
Peloton’s Cloud-based Network Operations Center continuously monitors individual truck safety and approves the linking of pairs of trucks only on suitable roads under appropriate weather, vehicle and traffic conditions. Drivers retain steering control and command of their vehicles at all times. The Peloton System integrates best-in-class active safety systems with cloud-based monitoring, making individual trucks safer at all times and delivering a rapid ROI to fleets via fuel efficiency, the company says.
In 2013, Peloton began demonstrating its Truck Platooning System with fleets and other transportation stakeholders in the US. The company says the system is proven to reduce fuel consumption by 10 percent for the rear truck and 4.5 percent for the front truck, based on industry-standard SAE J1321 Type II fuel economy testing conducted by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency and trucking fleet C.R. England.
Self-driving vehicles can provide a wide range of benefits to the logistics sector including improved road safety, greater fuel efficiency and reduced environmental impact, according to a DHL report published late last year.