SARTRE Road Train Project - First Test on European Roads

SARTRE stands for Safe Road Trains for the Environment, as well as the name of a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter and literary critic, but that’s completely unrelated to the point at hand. The project is conducted by the European Commission.
The EC has partnered up with several major companies, including (not surprisingly) Volvo - a company with unsurpassed knowledge in the field of self-driving and road safety. Sadly, this isn’t the kind of road trains one would find in Australia, those are actually cool trucks pulling several trailers behind them, and being exactly what they sound like: road trains.

This gives the concept new meaning however, as the system aims to reduce fuel consumption, as well as increase highway safety and traffic fluidity by having several cars follow a lead vehicle, driven by a professional driver. The test was carried out on a highway in Spain, and it involved two Volvo trucks and three Volvo cars following the first truck by using the electronic self-driving systems which now equip most of Volvo’s road cars.

Having passed its first test, the project’s next focus will now be fuel economy, but judging by what we’ve seen in the video, we think that this may be the answer for safer, quicker and more efficient highway driving in the future.

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