Why and how to joyfully move our butts around town, without mucking the place up.

The SARTRE Project

(www.sartre-project.eu) The SARTRE Project (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) is a Road Train design. As they put it, the project "aims to develop strategies and technologies to allow vehicle platoons to operate on normal public highways with significant environmental, safety and comfort benefits."

The concept is to have a lead truck driven by a professional driver, with some number of "following vehicles" driving close behind the lead truck. The following vehicles will be driven fully automatically by the SARTRE system rather than driven by the occupants. The following distance between vehicles is much less than is safe for human drivers. Hence the automated system removes humans out of the equation, who are replaced by computerized control of all vehicles in the platoon (road train).

Congestion benefits: Reducing the speed variability of vehicles on the road should increase traffic flow. It's expected the highest benefits are when the gaps between vehicles is reduced to a minimum.

Reduce Land required for highways: Today one reason why the highways are so big is the required safe following distance between cars, because cars are driven by humans. If automated robotic cars could be safely driven by computers, it's plausible that the cars could be driven with tiny gaps between cars, and therefore require less land space for the same number of cars.