September 29, 2021
Safety and efficiency of connected truck platoons will be studied for one year
Calgary, AB (Sept. 29, 2021) – Canada’s commercial trucking industry is shifting into a future driven by safety, efficiency, and Connected Automated Driver Assistance Systems. Today, the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) and its partners introduced the nation’s first pair of artificially intelligent semi-trucks of their kind, which are part of a project studying the safety and benefits of connected commercial transportation on Canadian roadways.
The trucks, affectionately dubbed “Daisy” and “Lily”, are 2020 Peterbilt 579s equipped with Pronto AI’s Co-pilot System. They are part of a pilot project called the Cooperative Truck Platooning System (CTPS), which is funded in part by the federal government through Transport Canada.
The trucks will be operated by Bison Transport. Drivers will train in the Rocky View, Alberta area before officially taking the project on the road.
Driver-assist technology – provided by Pronto – will allow close-proximity following in platoon formation, reducing drag, and increasing fuel efficiency. Other sensors, radar and camera technology will end information between the trucks to ensure safe operations including, active braking and acceleration systems responding to any acceleration and deceleration by the lead vehicle.
The project includes ensuring platooning technology is tested for the safety of vehicle operators as well as the motoring public. The pilot will be unique in its study of human factor considerations and use during different seasons – including cold Alberta winters.
“Innovation in the commercial transportation industry is being driven by technology. This program is critical to economic growth and competitiveness and improves safety and efficiency across the supply chain,” says AMTA Board Chair Jude Groves. “Platooning can be a safe, efficient way to get Albertan’s the necessities they require on a daily basis.”
Vehicle trials will occur on the Queen Elizabeth II Highway from Calgary to Edmonton with secondary trials taking place on the Trans-Canada Highway from Calgary to Banff between November 20921 and April 2022. The trucks underwent performance testing at Transport Canada’s Motor Vehicle Test Centre in Blainville, QC this past August.
“Alberta’s government applauds the Alberta Motor Transport Association’s launch of road tests for its cooperative Truck Platooning Systems,” says Alberta Transportation Minister Rajan Sawhney. “Technology and innovation like this will diversity our province’s economy and attract investment, two key pillars of Alberta’s Recovery Plan.”
“Safety has become a cornerstone of who Bison Transport is identified with throughout our industry. This initiative aligns perfectly with this core operating philosophy, and we are pleased to be the dedicated carrier for these trials,” says a statement from Bison Transport. “We would like to recognize our professional driver volunteers that have committed to participating, effectively paving the way for the future development and eventual deployment of this technology on our roadways.”
The project has received $2.3 million in funding as a part of Transport Canada’s Transportation Sector Regulatory Review Roadmap and involves industry and research partnership with Bison Transport, Pronto, the University of Alberta, Solaris Fatigue Management, Tantus, PMG Technologies, Esso Commercial Cardlock and support from Alberta Transportation.
About Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA)
The Alberta Motor Transport Association is a not-for-profit, advocacy and safety training association function as The Voice, The Standard and The Resource for commercial transportation in Alberta. For more than 80 years, our work has encompassed a broad range of environmental, social, economic, safety and compliance matters that impact provincial highways. Research and innovation is not at the forefront of our projects, enabling AMTA to bring key stakeholders together to lead research and develop new technologies that will significantly enhance the industry while reducing human and environmental impacts. amta.ca
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