Peloton Technology, which develops systems that deliver advanced safety, fuel savings and analytics to trucking fleets, has announced an investment agreement with Lockheed Martin to accelerate Peloton’s development and deployment of truck-platooning technology for the U.S. and international trucking industries.
“We are excited to be working with Lockheed Martin, a recognized leader in automated vehicles and safety-critical systems,” said Peloton CEO Josh Switkes. “Lockheed Martin understands and supports our mission of increasing safety and fuel savings across the industry.”
The Peloton truck-platooning system is a vehicle automation technology that has the potential to save lives and save fuel in today’s trucking operations. The system electronically couples pairs of trucks through a combination of vehicle-to-vehicle 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.
Lockheed Martin joins a $17 million investment round co-led by Denso International America and Intel Capital.
“Lockheed Martin is committed to partnering with Peloton and excited to be working with such a strong team of strategic investors,” said Adam Miller, New Initiatives director for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Our partnership is consistent with Lockheed Martin’s approach of researching and investing in disruptive and cutting-edge technologies.”
By partnering with Peloton Technology, Lockheed Martin joins an investment group that includes seven Fortune Global 500 companies in technology and transportation as well as several venture capital funds.
Lockheed Martin has been a leader in autonomous vehicles for more than three decades, from the pioneering Autonomous Land Vehicle to the cutting-edge Autonomous Mobility Applique System (AMAS), which aims to provide driver assistance and automation to military vehicles in convoys through a multiplatform kit of sensors and control systems.
In the Peloton truck-platooning system, a direct communication link enables the rear truck to react automatically to acceleration or braking by the front truck nearly instantaneously, enabling more tightly spaced and fuel-efficient operation. 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.
Truck 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 return on investment to fleets via fuel efficiency.
In 2013, Peloton began demonstrating its truck-platooning system with fleets and other transportation stakeholders in the U.S. 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.
To date, the Peloton System has logged more than 15,000 platooning miles and been showcased in on-highway demonstrations, government, private and fleet tests in Nevada, Utah, Texas, Ohio, Florida, Alabama and Michigan. Demonstrations and fleet pilot deployments in additional states will be held later this year.