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.
With each new phase of Volvo's Sartre road train project, we get another glimpse into how the fuel-saving technology is evolving. This time, Volvo has tested the technology on public roads in Spain, calling the event "highly successful."
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:
SARTRE Road Test – Click above to watch video after the jump
A year ago, we reported on Project Sartre, a road train system that uses a lead vehicle, driven by a professional driver, to wirelessly control private vehicles that join the train. Once a vehicle is part of the train, the commuting "drivers" are free to do as they please until their destination approaches, at which time they regain control of the vehicle and leave the train to continue on. We are happy to report that the past year of project simulations and development has gone well and that th
Do you get bored when driving along the interstate? Ever wish you could just pull out your laptop and check Facebook on a long straightaway? If a EU-funded project called Sartre ever becomes a reality, you could. Sartre is a sort of drafting software that would use wireless controls to group up to 8 cars together into a train that would follow a truck or bus driven by a professional driver. The software uses GPS-based technology to control the distance between cars and keeps them moving at a con