Lockheed Martin and DENSO International America, with workplaces in metro Detroit, are investing $17 million in Peloton, a California-based developer of a platooning technology system designed to potentially save lives and fuel for trucking fleets.
"Lockheed Martin is committed to partnering with Peloton and excited to be working with such a strong team of strategic investors," says Adam Miller, new initiatives director for Lockheed Martin missiles and fire control. "Our partnership is consistent with Lockheed Martin's approach of researching and investing in disruptive and cutting-edge technologies."
Silicon Valley-based Peloton Technology's platooning system electronically couples pairs of trucks through vehicle-to-vehicle communications, radar-based active braking systems, and vehicle-control algorithms. The rear truck is able to react automatically to acceleration or braking by the front truck, allowing trucks to travel at closer distances, improving aerodynamics and reducing fuel use, similar to drafting in race cars. Its network operations center continuously monitors and approves the linking of pairs of trucks only in suitable conditions.
Pelton Technology began demonstrating its technology in 2013, and found the system was able to reduce fuel consumption by 10 percent for the rear truck and nearly 5 percent for the front truck. The company has logged more than 15,000 platooning miles showcased in demonstrations in Michigan, Nevada, and Texas, among other states.
"As a leader in vehicle-to-vehicle technologies, we are eager to work closely with Peloton to implement the first large-scale deployment of a V2V system," says Tony Cannestra, director of corporate ventures for Southfield-based DENSO International America. "DENSO believes that Peloton's system has the potential to help increase safety and fuel savings in the transportation industry."