Volvo contributes to hefty investment in Peloton Technology

Platooning company receives sizeable cash injection to boost its research

Volvo contributes to hefty investment in Peloton Technology
Volvo funds Peloton Technology.


Volvo has announced it is one of a collective to invest a combined US$16 million in platoon technology company Peloton Technology, via its Volvo Group Venture Capital subsidiary.

Peloton Technology is making strides in vehicle-to-vehicle communications, crafting a solution that, it says, delivers advanced safety, fuel savings and analytical data to trucking fleets.  

The Peloton Truck Platooning System electronically aligns trucks through a variety of vehicle-to-vehicle communications, radar-based active braking systems and proprietary vehicle-control algorithms, allowing trailing trucks to react to acceleration or braking of the front truck automatically.

While in communication with each other and the company’s cloud-based monitoring system, the trucks can improve aerodynamics and fuel economy by reducing the distance between vehicles.

Volvo Group Venture Capital was joined in its Series A investment by Denso International America, Intel Capital, Magna International, Castrol innoVentures and UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund, among others.

"We are excited to be working with this strategic group of investors," Peloton CEO Josh Switkes says.

"Together, we make an outstanding team that combines world-class vehicle engineering, Silicon Valley expertise in the cloud and connectivity, and the support of global business leaders in transportation and technology."

Peloton is currently developing its cloud-based Platooning Network Operations Center solution that will help trucks find platooning partners and collect data on the driver and vehicle.

"This combination of connected vehicles, advanced safety and analytics can revolutionize freight transport," Ralph Eschenbach, Peloton board member and former chief technology officer of Trimble Navigation, says.

"It’s remarkable to recognize how far location-based services have come since I started working on early GPS applications in 1976."

The connected solution also hopes to be able to analyse the current driving conditions and adjust truck positions based on location, road and weather conditions.

"We look forward to working with Peloton Technology as they work on a platooning solution that will improve safety and fuel efficiency while also combating the costs associated with congestion," president of Volvo Trucks North America Göran Nyberg says.

Fuel economy could be key for fleet operators’ interest in the technology and the technology appears to offer saving for both the trailing and leading trucks.

According to Peloton, studies by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency and US trucking fleet C.R. England have found the front truck consumed 4.5 per cent less fuel during its journey, while the rear truck saved 10 per cent.

"Peloton Technology has assembled a stellar team and developed a technology-based  platooning solution with the potential to save a significant amount of fuel and also increase safety for fleets," investment director and head of the Americas for Volvo Group Venture Capital Jonas Landstrӧm says.

"Volvo Group Venture Capital is focused on partnering with companies that help our customers increase their bottom line through technology-based solutions."

The technology has been in the minds of many truck manufacturers, such as DAF, Volvo and Scania, for a number of years in Europe and the US, the latter trialling a solution in 2012.

An official investigation into platooning was given a public endorsement last year by a spokesman for Federal infrastructure minister Warren Truss, telling ATN the technology could "enable a broad range of safety and productivity benefits for vehicle drivers, industry and the broader community."

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