Ricardo (Not Ricky) and SARTRE (Not Jean-Paul)

Although we’d like to think that the name of the EU-financed project that is working to understand and develop vehicle platooning is named after the 20th-century French existentialist philosopher, as it turns out, SARTRE is actually an acronym for “Safe Road Trains for the Environment.” Under the leadership of Ricardo UK—along with Idiada and Robotiker-Tecnalia of Span, Institute für Kraftfahrwesen Aachen of Germany, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, and Volvo Car Corp. and Volvo Technology of Sweden—the program is aimed at organizing vehicles into “road trains” or “platoons.” There is a lead car, driven by a professional driver, followed by a line of other vehicles.

Although we’d like to think that the name of the EU-financed project that is working to understand and develop vehicle platooning is named after the 20th-century French existentialist philosopher, as it turns out, SARTRE is actually an acronym for “Safe Road Trains for the Environment.”

Under the leadership of Ricardo UK—along with Idiada and Robotiker-Tecnalia of Span, Institute für Kraftfahrwesen Aachen of Germany, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, and Volvo Car Corp. and Volvo Technology of Sweden—the program is aimed at organizing vehicles into “road trains” or “platoons.” There is a lead car, driven by a professional driver, followed by a line of other vehicles. The following vehicles all are fitted with technology that allows them to measure the speed, distance and direction of the vehicle in front of them and to adjust their parameters accordingly.

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“Platooning offers the prospect of improved road safety, better road space utilization, improved driver comfort on long journeys, and reduced fuel consumption and hence CO2 emissions,” according to Tom Robinson, SARTRE project coordinator.

It is estimated that it can reduce CO2 emissions by about 20%, and as the human factor is estimated to be the cause of at least 80% of road accidents and the human factor is minimized in this setup, presumably accidents will be minimized, as well.

One in a platoon, drivers can do other things. Like perhaps get after that copy of Being and Nothingness.

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Source: UK Sartre Society