Readers of a certain age might remember those bumper stickers with Yosemite Sam toting two six-shooters and yelling "Back Off!" He wasn't yelling "So you can burn more fuel!" but researchers are looking at how tailgating could save gas, and, in this case, are working with big rigs.
Chery has brought one of the most unusual concept vehicles – actually and importantly, two such vehicles – to the Beijing Motor Show this week. Wonder what you're looking at in the picture above? How about a conceptual "road train" system where the individual cars can attach and detach when needed, forming one long snake that can make its way down the highway in all-electric comfort. See also: the SARTRE work done by Volvo.
This time last year, the Safe Road Trains for the Environment (SARTRE) program hit a milestone. Using a specially equipped Volvo S60 with a big-rig taking the lead, the EU-funded researchers managed to create the world's first fully-functional road train, allowing the driver in the sedan to sit back and enjoy the ride without touching the controls.
Swedish automaker Volvo says that road trains will be a fixture on Europe's roads by the end of the decade, according to Autocar. Thomas Broberg, Volvo's senior safety engineer, told Autocar that closed-road trials have already successfully been conducted and revealed that Volvo will participate in field trials in Sweden by the end of 2011. Broberg says that: