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Is a “road train” in our future?


The idea of letting your car drive itself has been around since the Jetsons. Now the European Union is testing out this concept in the form of a Road Train.

With the idea of cutting down on fuel consumption, over the next three years the EU will test the Safe Road Trains for the Environment (SARTRE), where eight vehicles would be linked by wireless sensors to operate as one “train.” A professional driver would control the “train”, monitoring what’s around each vehicle. Even cars, buses and trucks could join the convoy.

Tests for this innovative system will begin on test tracks in the UK, Spain and Sweden and eventually on public roads in Spain. There are still plenty of kinks to work out. If successful, drivers will have to pay for this transportation service. Pleasure does have its price!

Tags: road+train, self+driving+cars


  • So let me get this right. I'm expected to attach myself to a convoy travelling at 70 mph 6 inches apart, and then when I want to leave easily peel off to my exit ramp without tail-ending the guy in front or side-swiping some poor dude coming up on the blind-side? Sounds truly like Utopia to me. Oh yes.

  • Why not? The cars behind you are on automatic control, if you brake they brake.

  • So not only do you have to follow a slow ass bus, but you have to follow every car within a foot or so? What happens if the lead car needs to make a quick stop, and not every car has the same braking capability? I think this will lead to quite a few fender benders.

    • To quote the article: "There are still plenty of kinks to work out."

      Seriously, if you're going to comment on an article, at least read the article….

    • Yes, one of those kinks would be figuring out how to prevent a complete 100 car pile up in the event any number of things went wrong!

    • imagine the braking system of all vehicles being controlled by a master… like brake by wire but brake by wireless.

  • Nothing in this article indicates that the cars are traveling at less than safe stopping distance.

    • Other than the photo

  • What about liability? What happens if the "professional driver" makes a mistake?

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