Platooning question

Platooning question

So I can see how platooning works on a freeway, but what happens on the surface streets? For example, going through a light and it changes before the 3rd truck gets through the light? Does it run the red light because it’s following the leader?

What about a stop sign?!

What happens if a car or bike inevitably gets between the trucks in the platoon?

How will it work once the platoon is no longer free to roll as a unit?

jordanrichard | 29 novembre 2017

Well "platooning" is not meant for anything other than highways.

Even then I don't think it is a good idea. If you have a whole line of trucks cruising in single file, essentially creating a wall, how is anyone to get off the highway. If you look at any of the animated demos of this platooning, there is no room between the trucks for a car to slide over.

rgrant | 29 novembre 2017

Excellent point. Also some on ramps are quite tight so if a car tried to merge while a platoon was going by it could be quite exciting.

DTsea | 29 novembre 2017

You mean.... gasp..... a car might have to slow down and get behind trucks to make exit? Oh the horror!

Captain_Zap | 29 novembre 2017

#1 You turn on your blinker and wait for a reply.
#2 The truck flashes their lights one time when it is clear for you to move over.
#3 You flash your lights two or three times quickly to thank the truck driver after you completed your maneuver.

It has been frustrating that there is no quick way to flash lights in a Tesla.

teslu3 | 29 novembre 2017

"platooning" for Tesla trucks (and cars) will initially work on highways. The concept helps both energy efficiency and traffic throughput. Each truck will monitor traffic on the sides as well. Humans see a vehicle with a turn signal indicating intent to switch into your lane - Tesla vehicles should as well and open a gap to let the vehicle in. A platoon can be hundreds of vehicles yet allow traffic to flow through it. The future implications are enormous, reducing the need for adding lanes to highways or building new highways just to bypass congestion that platoons can help eliminate. Even better will be platoons that are joined by non-Tesla vehicles with compatible capabilities.

Ross1 | 29 novembre 2017

What might work is to modify to road/rail, where more use is made of rail track and less of road by platooning trucks onto the rail. Such bogies already exist for rail maintenance trucks, they go past here all the time.
My wife was chair of worlds largest steam train, they had vehicles could adapt to rail.

rgrant | 29 novembre 2017

If all the trucks have drivers initially and the platoon is purely for aerodynamic efficiency while on the freeway then that would work as the drivers could take over once the trucks leave the freeway. But the shots I saw showed empty cabs in the following trucks I think?

grega | 29 novembre 2017

There will definitely be car drivers who cut into the middle of the platoon because they just realised it was their off ramp.

A platoon would probably need to expect to "open up" at every exit and then close back up. That'd be easy enough to do, the problem is opening up for on ramps and any time cars want to insert themselves into the platoon and not get out. In the end it'll mean the front truck is periodically forced to slow down to encourage the intra-platoon drivers to get out and pass them.

Same sort of problem happens if you're following a friend in your cars somewhere. Once a car gets between you it's not as easy to keep following, and can take a while to get back to being directly behind. Of course it's fine if the following car is able to act independently and knows where it's going, but if Tesla is relying on a lead truck with a driver that could be an issue.

Maybe the back of the truck needs a flashing sign saying "Please pass me. Asap". Certainly it'll take some education.

Mike83 | 29 novembre 2017

Don't forget these trucks move fast. They may stay in the left lane next to the exit lane and can easily make a space if need be. I don't see any issue.

grega | 29 novembre 2017

Eventually... car gets in between the platoon.

Front truck slows down to see if car gets out and overtakes. If not, back truck changes lanes and overtakes, gets 10 foot ahead of front truck and merges in. Takes over the lead position.

No drivers eventually. Could a "captain" run the convoy from any truck in the platoon?

grega | 29 novembre 2017

Mike83. Good point.

Possibly, if there's a very clear left lane (overtaking lane) all 3 trucks could change lanes, regroup, move ahead, and go back into the slower lane. Or the back truck could go into the higher speed lane, and speed up then let in the middle truck, and then match speed with the back of the front truck and remerge behind it.

Mike83 | 29 novembre 2017

grega. you remind me of when I used to bicycle long distances with a group of 8 people. The drafting works great and I wonder how much this helps with trucks. With AP2 on freeways my Telsa already changes lanes when safe and accelerates to the set speed. I don't see why one trucker couldn't run 3 trucks.

rgrant | 29 novembre 2017

I’m not saying it can’t be done but it does come with a whole host of new problems to solve!

jordanrichard | 29 novembre 2017

The whole platooning is all about 1 lead truck with a driver and the following trucks would be driverless.

TabascoGuy | 30 novembre 2017

The lead truck would be "the weakest link in the chain" as far as it would be draining it's batteries faster than the following trucks. That would reduce the overall range of the platoon. Wouldn't it make sense that the "driver" could take up any position on the platoon to balance battery drain between all the trucks? | 30 novembre 2017

@Captain_Zap "It has been frustrating that there is no quick way to flash lights in a Tesla."

Why not push the turn signal away from your to flash the high beams? Seems quick to me :) See page 51 of the manual for detailed instructions.

Rocky_H | 30 novembre 2017

@TeslaTap, Quote: "Why not push the turn signal away from your to flash the high beams? Seems quick to me :)"

Because you don't want to blind people! You just want them to notice when your lights briefly turn off and then back on.
@Cap_Zap, Yeah, my wife was also frustrated with this. The was in the passenger seat and wanted to flash the lights, and it was:
Controls, OFF, ON, OFF, ON, X (to close the controls screen)
That is six presses of things on the touch screen(!) just to flash your lights a couple of times.

jordanrichard | 30 novembre 2017

Actually it's pulling the stalk towards you that temporarily turns on the high beams. A couple quick flicks of the stalk should do the trick and not blind anyone.

Captain_Zap | 30 novembre 2017

Flashing high beams isn't legal here.

Rocky_H | 30 novembre 2017

Yeah, why do people think flashing your high beams in people's faces is acceptable instead of the off/on?

Uncle Paul | 30 novembre 2017

Platooning at first will not be done to eliminate drivers, but instead use close driving to increase aerodynamic efficiencies for fuel economy.

After additional development, it might be possible, in many instances to use less drivers, but that will be a while.

In Australia they have been using Truck trains for many years. A single cab will pull more than one trailer, all hooked up as a single unit. It only works in the wide open spaces, and takes an exceptional driver, however the economics are significant.

Current Tesla's autopilots can already modify the trailing distance from the vehicle in front of them. With sufficient data I can see the time when a Platoon of many vehicles could work their ways down the highways with little human input.

Airplanes can already do this. When sensors indicate another plane in their path, a notification is sent by computer to the pilot, who researches the situation from the sensors, and makes necessary flight changes.

Another option is to do platooning inside tunnels under the Earth. No problems then, stringing a bunch together.