New semi-automated semis could be seen on Kentucky roadways.
Senate Bill 116 passed the Senate Transportation Committee on an 11-0 vote.
The bill would allow for Semi trucks with automatic features like speeding up, slowing down and braking to drive on Kentucky roads.
Vehicle under the bill would platoon with other vehicles, meaning the vehicles would be in sync together to coordinate speeds through wireless communication. Once the platooning vehicles are activated, the lead vehicle will regulate the speed and the following vehicles will stay in sync with the lead vehicle.
Stephen Boyd, Co-founder and vice president of Peloton, expressed his favor of the bill and emphasized that this bill does not propose self-driving vehicles, but rather coordinated driving.
Boyd also mentioned the cost and safety benefits of the measure. According to Boyd, vehicles in two would use less fuel and the braking system would be much faster than the human reaction time.
Jason Siwula from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet also supports the bill.
“From the Transportation Cabinet’s perspective, we’re supportive of anything that increases commercial motor vehicle safety,” Siwula said.
SB 116 is on its way to the Senate.