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Europe Testing "Road Trains" to Cut Fuel Use

Have you ever been driving in rush hour and generic viagra from canada wished you could just zone out and read a book during your trip instead of stressing about the wow it's great get viagra in canada traffic?  Well, the EU is testing a way to make that possible while cutting fuel consumption at the same time.  The idea is that eight vehicles would travel as one "train," linked by wireless sensors.  It's believed that the system, called Safe Road Trains for the Environment (SARTRE), could cut fuel use by 20 percent for cars traveling in the trains.

Each road train would be controlled by a lead vehicle driven by a professional driver.  All other drivers in the train would be passengers able to take their hands off the wheel and enjoy the ride.  Sensors would collect and send information to the generic viagra sales lead vehicle about what was happening around each of the cars.  Cars, buses and trucks would all be able to join a train and could leave at any time.

The SARTRE project will be conducted for three years on test tracks in the UK, Spain and Sweden and best online viagra eventually on public roads in Spain.  Some specifics will have to be sorted out like how exactly vehicles will join and leave the trains, how the trains will signal to other cars that they're traveling as one and how to it's cool cheepest levitra ensure a safe organization of vehicles (e.g. not allowing cars to be sandwiched by large trucks).

Ultimately researchers see the road trains being a paid service for drivers.

via BBC

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Comments (19)Add Comment
written by inexplicablyNic, November 12, 2009
I've had this exact idea for a while. Drafting can really help gas mileage, but is of course unsafe; with computers keeping the cars in line it just might work.

This also lets you keep your private car instead of having to conform to public transit schedules.
written by sarah, November 12, 2009
Interesting to say the least. It's novel; social driving linkages. It's almost as if they'll need research from facebook to best predict hooking in and pulling away. No seriously. it sounds funny but it's a whole different way of looking at where people want to it's cool canadian levitra go and how they are going to get there. It's like inventing a whole new kind of vehicle/transportation system. That's pretty big. Maybe undo-able maybe easy but more interesting tackling it as a real life concept instead of a sci-fi movie that I haven't seen yet.

I'm happy to see people are looking at gas consumption in other ways then making some form of hybrid and increasing/abolishing MPG.
written by Niels, November 12, 2009
To me it just seems a dumb excuse not to take a REAL train. smilies/angry.gif
potentially dangerous
written by Craig, November 12, 2009
While I applaud the we recommend when will viagra be available as a generic idea of increased fuel milage I have to agree with Niels' point but the main thing that jumped out at me was how incredibly dangerous this would be. First off, your trusting your life to a "professional driver" and having known many of them, they are just like you and I and have faults, get distracted and viagra no rx get sleepy as well as now you have this group of 8 vehicles all following so close they can draft and all you need is one thing to happen either beside or in front of that lead vehicle and you have an 8 vehicle pile up because there's no reaction time.... I've seen other methods using individual cars in a rail type of system that seem a better (albiet more costly) way to go.
Auto vs Manual Steering
written by Carl Hage, November 12, 2009
This makes more sense than the driverless individual vehicles of past research. But going to auto-steering seems more complex than needed. If cars network to each other, then the accelerator and brake could be controlled in each car by the computers. The driver can still steer instead of reading.

I would guess a reserved lane might be required, plus special traffic regulations on speed and spacing. It's critical that enough spacing exist ahead of the train, and the train has plenty of canadian levitra time to react to slow down, so monitoring and broadcast of traffic in the lane would be important. Also, probably automatic ticketing and severe fines would be needed for violations. If the train made a 100% emergency stop, it's guaranteed to create a crash since each car won't have identical emergency stop rates.

I would guess the hardest part of this project would be dealing with problems in the equipment and dealing with emergency situations. Of course a research project could omit all of this and demo the viagra alternatives concept, but it would be unsafe. The legal liability of this seems problematic, especially in the US.

An even simpler version would just have automated braking only (plus perhaps some lights/sounds to advise the driver), use networking and traffic flow management with radios and sensors in the road. Instead of stop-and-go, the system could allow supercritical density at modest speeds (30mph). By controlling the spacing and speed, the stop-and-go waves would be avoided. Traffic would be slow, but steady, so people would get to work faster than current congested highways.
written by EV, November 12, 2009
About the only way I could see this being safe, is if the frame of the car was reinforced. Rail road cars have some fairly hefty carriages so that when they stop, the cars do not collapse. The same method wouldn't have to be directly implemented here, but maybe a beam or two in the center of levitra in mexico the cars that lined up could be used, and the vehicles could ride 'beam to beam' (think bumper to bumper). That way, if the first slowed down and the rest didn't react fast enough, the beams would push the front cars along instead of causing a huge accident. This still leaves in some other problems, but reduces the chance of pancaking a car.
written by nice EV idea, November 13, 2009
This is an old idea and systems like this have been prototyped by several research groups over the canadian generic cialis online world.

There is a nice opportunity I have not heard of yet.
If the lead vehicle has a small power facility it could help EV owners to make occasional long distance trips.
They can drive to the nearest highway, connect and order generic cialis plug in to a road train and use electricity provided by the locomotive.

This could solve one of the biggest drawbacks of the EV: The inability to drive more than 600 mile for the occasionally holiday trip.
danger? really?
written by sarah, November 14, 2009
Are the cars held together with magnets? are their speeds just radio controlled? I would think the potential of the computer failing is there but it could fail on your own car just as easily...they seldom do. also, who's to say three couldn't be some sort of intercom, or 3 way calling system hooked into the cars to allow better communication then say a horn? "link number 6 requests unlink at exit 67a, for unscheduled plan change"...or request a vote for a rest stop or get a little call or signal like it is on the caltrain a little beep and an intercom notice with the name of wow look it canadianpharmacy the next station... and the car in front and behind would unlink a gap would be created and then it would be like a typical lane change we do now, the car behind and car ahead would assume create a new link and the system would continue down the road...perhaps a new color of link changing light could be a required add on to cars in the program. alerting unlinked cars nearby that a link change is occurring...just like turn signals and break lights were invented, so to can other types of safety and communication devices...why is everyone just chalking it up to dangerous? Rush hour traffic generally is already scary to many, Cars, generally, are already unsafe despite airbags and signals. Cars are one of the least safe forms of transportation yet we love them and lots of us drive and wreck them every day. This could actually make driving a whole heck of a lot safer by optimizing spacing and braking patterns, minimizing independent user distraction, optimizing fuel consumption, optimizing commuter communication. It is possible. It's just not yet determined.
tassles on a broken bike.
written by dropsfalldown, November 14, 2009
It seems like a poor infrastructural choice. It would cost tax payers (or individuals if opened on the open market) far too much for less benefit when compared to the creation of accessible mass transit. If people have a value on individual ability to drive by themselves it's highlighted in this case, but at the cost of look here generic viagra from india the environment, their personal time (traffic and lower speeds of individual vehicles), their money, and being kept away from each other more in our lives. I would probably only support this if I forgot the tramadol 10mb costs or if I was heavily invested in a car company.

And if you're curious who spends the most money promoting computer managed passenger cars to decision makers, well in the US it has been GM for the last 15 years. It looked different when first proposed of course. More like magnetic strips planted into the ground that would guide the steering wheel for people. Then later, computers were suggested to manage the speed, all these people in their own cars, one after the other, going a perfect 65mph.

GM is the same company that bought up all the electric rail-car mass transit in 49 states around WWII and switched it to gas powered engines and then raised cost and scaled back the it's great! levitra alternative availability of mass transit (mostly in urban centers) until it only made sense to purchase a car, which if far most lucrative than mass transit for GM. Freeways were then lobbied by GM often under the banner of "we need to be able to transport and cialis philippines army or our people from coast to coast if necessary, it's a matter of national security". Simultaneously they deconstructed purchased railway tracks, they often weren't in the way of anything, they just didn't want the option on the table. Mass transit systems were then sold back to the cities once they became unprofitable (from lack of use) but necessary for transporting the handicapped and elderly. This of buy tramadol europe course didn't happen in a cultural vacuum. Personal cars in the 50s-70s were far too sexy to compete with the concept of rail cars. Of course, no individual pictures themselves as the cause of the traffic on a freeway... I mostly feel bad for LA... they used to have an effective rail car system that would move people through the city, and they traded it for more expensive, more polluting, less useful freeways of bumper to bumper individuated frustration.

I'd agree that a lot of the above could be contested (it would be quite hard to determine all of it objectively), I would just suggest that people ask questions like "what will buying / supporting this do to a shifting infrastructure?" rather than just "which thing on the shelf do I like more?" whoo, far too much rambling smilies/sad.gif sorry all..
written by Marcel Geers, November 16, 2009
The research is not new. I remember seeing a newsclip about this a few years ago. I thought it was about a roadtrain of BMWs on the Dutch road. It showed nicely how the braking happens or when a car wants to leave (distance increased to safe driving distance, changes are made and the train can continue). I bet the movie should still be out there on the net.
This was also MY idea!
written by Rudy, November 16, 2009
Volvo has already come out with it's 'Collision Warning System' (aka Auto Brake), which automatically brakes the cheapest cialis without prescription vehicle if the passenser fails to stop at an object in front of it.
My idea was more like a 'Smart Cruise Control' where you can set the cruise control to whichever speed, but it would automatically adjusts to the speed of the vehicle in front of you (via sensors), and continue to 'follow' the vehicle until you switch lanes!
Essentially, this 'Road Trains' technology is a bit more dangerous, in the sense that the driver does not need to stay in control of generic levitra cheap the steering wheel.
Additionally, if my 'Smart Cruise Control' would be integrated with Volvo's CWS, these two would definitely cut down on 'computer-related accidents' or distracted drivers accidents.
However, if this "Road Trains" concept was integrated with Volvo's CWS, then if the leading vehicle were to stop suddenly, all following vehicles would simultaneously brake! I'm sure this 'Road Train' technology would not be launched without any and all safety precautions in place!
written by andy, November 16, 2009
So 4 cars save 20% fuel consumption each, but the added driver in the lead doesn't save a bit - and he's getting paid. I don't get how this would save any fuel by adding an extra car/professional driver to the mix.
Don't put down innovative thinking
written by Sue, November 20, 2009
Like it or not, this is innovative and all major innoative ideas instantly have their opponents (see all the safety comments above). The think I really like about it is the real life trial.
unsafe? you must be kidding
written by Evaldas, November 20, 2009
you do know, that possibility of a computer failing is less than a driver blacking out? it sure happens, but bad stuff happens all the time. Also, you by no means can have a backup computer running, while there's not much of an option to have a backup driver in your car. Also, CWS system is next to useless here, because all the cars will get info on train leader's actions instantly. I personally think this is a very good idea for the road, although I am not that sure about the benefit in form of fuel and money consumption.
Good idea has limits
written by Sterling D. Allan, November 20, 2009
The train would be limited by the weakest vehicle going up a hill. All vehicles would have to be "fit" and not prone to a breakdown. Most of your departures from the trainwould probably occur going up hills, to avoid the crawl, causing trailing vehicles to have to work that much harder to speed up and fill in the gap -- or for the lead to slow down to allow them to catch up, making more leave, ect.

Collisions from non-involved cars would create horrific wrecks.

I could see this turning into a bureacratic boondoggle that costs far more money than it saves.

There are thousands of great ways to reduce fuel usage. This one looks good on papers but would probably fail in practicality in its implementation.

See our site for a bunch of great solutions in various stages of development.
Car train vs. Real train
written by Elemental LED staff, November 30, 2009
I agree with an early comment: why not just take a commuter train or subway? And if something like this is going to be researched and high quality viagra invested in, why not just build a commuter tram or train instead?

It's sort of like when you see a tractor trailer on the highway pulling 3 trailers, and you wonder why trucks (huge polluters) virtually replaced (more efficient and less dangerous) freight trains!
Another Approach to the "Self-Driving Car"
written by Carol, December 27, 2009
This will be a very popular intermediate stage between driver-controlled and self-driving cars. Once the most popular linkages have been established, the technology can be built right into the roads, and your personal car will become a self-driving car. People have lost interest completely in driving for driving's sake, that's so "last century". They want to spend all their time online or communicating with others in various forms while travelling. This is another surefire way to accomplish that goal.
written by David, January 12, 2010
This kind of system can be a real drag if it becomes mandatory because individuals are goal and task oriented, and because of order viagra online this, this system is more hindrance than opportunity. People need their freedom, not a slave to a narrow-minded social imperative.
Good idea in theory
written by Modern Lighting Concepts Staff, October 19, 2012
but wouldnt the cars have to be made for this process explicitly so that they would all be made for this kind of travel. Wouldn't small differences in things like wheel torque make things difficult for some of the less efficient cars in the chain?

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