Road Train Autopilot Saves Money, Would Mercifully Restore Driving-While-Texting

It was only a matter of time before some compulsive texter found a way to get text messaging and driving together again. Called the Road Train, it's mean to save fuel, but we know it's true purpose, don't we? [BBC]

The Road Train is based on drafting, that age-old technique that NASCAR drivers use to make passing easier and that those suicidal Mythbusters proved was legit when they coasted 10 feet behind a big rig at constant velocity.

In this case, however, the system is automated. Cars opt in and opt out at the driver's convenience, forming a moving, amorphous "train" of vehicles that maintain constant speed and distance form one another thanks to software.

Unlike many cool ideas/concepts, this one is actually being tested, right now, in Europe by Ricardo UK.

The three-year trial will see seven wireless-linked vehicles travelling the continent as part of an attempt to achieve a 20% fuel consumption reduction per vehicle. Reduced travel times and congestion are also goals.

And don't forget texting. We may soon return to a world where texting while driving is just obnoxious, not deadly, as it is today. [BBC via Treehugger]

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