Last Friday, Governor Jay Nixon vetoed a bill that would have allowed truck platooning on Missouri highways, in part because of questions regarding the safety of automated driving technology.
Truck Platooning Supporters Say That It Increases Fuel Economy
The bill, which was sponsored in the House by Charlie Davis, would have allowed semis that are connected by wireless technology to ignore the 300 foot following distance currently required by state law. The bill’s proponents said that truck platooning would allow trucks to use the road more efficiently and to cut down on emissions, but Davis said that fuel economy was the biggest benefit of truck platooning: “The lead truck gets about eight percent higher fuel mileage. And the second truck behind it, it gets 10 percent increase. So it increases the miles-per-gallon.”
Nixon Says Platooning Is “A Risk Not Worth Taking”
Though the bill allowing truck platooning technology passed the House and the Senate with a wide margin, Nixon chose to veto it, citing the recent fatal Tesla crash as an indication that automated driving technology is not ready. He wrote, “using Missouri highways as a testing ground for long-haul trucks to deploy this unproven technology is simply a risk not worth taking at this time.”
Though the bill allow trucks to be connected by wireless technology, it would not have removed drivers from the trucks.
You can take a look at the video below to learn more about how truck platooning works.