“Autonomous” vehicles are vehicles that are able to drive themselves.  Using computers and sensors, these vehicles can see the world around them, and control the vehicle’s engine, brakes, and steering to safely navigate and avoid obstacles.


At Purdue University, they are working on bringing this technology to big tractor-trailers. Professor Greg Shaver is working on a system where one truck can automatically follow another truck very closely; this is called “platooning.”  This is important because trucks use a lot of fuel. By driving in platoons, trucks can use less fuel, which is good for the environment.


They are also safer, because a computer can react faster than a human driver.  This is important because trucks carry most of the stuff you buy and use on a daily basis - up to 70% of freight in the United States goes by truck. So when we keep trucks safe, we make life better for everybody!

360 taken by drone above Imagination Station

!! Important !! Click on the three-dimensional shape in the upper left-hand corner for a better view !!

Interview with Professor Greg Shafer about Truck Platooning

3:00 video for all ages that explains what a drone is.

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