A clever system: whatever the "lead" truck does, the "follow" truck copies.

Keep on Truckin'

Peloton Technology's vision of the future of truck automation includes trucks that aren't autonomous at all.

At the recent Automated Vehicle Symposium in Orlando, Fla., the Silicon Valley-based startup unveiled Automated Following, a new system that grants a truck an extraordinary degree of self-driving autonomy — by designing it to copy the actions of a human-driven truck.

Copy Cat

The Automated Following system works by duplicating the steering and braking instructions of a second, human-driven truck, creating a "platoon" of two vehicles, Peloton said in a press release.

"We’ve taken a different approach to commercial introduction of automation in class 8 vehicles," CEO Josh Switkes said in the release. "We see the drivers as the world’s best sensors, and we are leveraging this to enable today’s drivers to be more productive through automated following platoons."

Platoon Time

Peloton doesn't say in the release how far along it is with testing the Automated Following system.

However, if/when it's road-ready, the tech has the potential to save trucking companies a lot of money — platooning trucks produces aerodynamic benefits that can cut down on fuel cost, not to mention decrease congestion, carbon emissions, and accidents.

READ MORE: Peloton's Automated Follow feature would allow a person to drive two trucks at once [New Atlas]

More on platooning: "Platoons" of Self-Driving Semi Trucks Will Be Hitting U.K. Roads

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