The Road Train: taking drafting to a whole new level

So we all know that drafting increases fuel efficiency. Heck, I even saw an episode of MythBusters where they proved that following a semi suicidally close will increase your mileage dramatically. Of course, drafting is dangerous, stupid, and the risk vs. reward just isn’t there. Well, what if it was? Scientists in Europe are working on a system that would make drafting safe. Get ready to ride the road train.

The concept is this: have one vehicle leading (the engine if you will) and the other cars following behind electronically tethered together. When a vehicle wants to leave, the driver disengages the system, pulls out of the line, and the car behind pulls forward and fills the empty spot. If someone new wants to join the line, they simple pull up behind the last vehicle and engage the system. They are currently testing a system to Europe to make this a reality, using sensors and professional drivers to drive the leader cars. Once you engage the system, automated controls would take over and you relinquish control completely until you reach your destination.

[via Treehugger]