Is there any serious research on platooning of cars and/or other vehicles on existing rails ?



  • This is a simple enough question but i could not find good answers anywhere. Hopefully some of you may have link to some research. I believe this topic merits a discussion as it has potential to really save energy and make long distance travel easier. We know that rails have lower coefficient of friction so they are heavy and very efficient in transporting goods compared to cars. I have also seen modified pickup trucks used for maintenance of rails. I was wondering with the advancements in autopilot like technologies would it not make sense to drive a car on a rail with or without platooning for long distances. This will save a lot of energy if it works well.



  • @Sandeep-Patil this sounds like an interesting but fairly specific idea so I doubt that there would be any robust research out there for it. As with any new idea, the economics will decide their fate. It seems like any advantages gained through platooning on rails might not warrant what would likely be a large cost. If there was a way to figure out how to do it at scale cheaply, that would surely drive progress



  • I have not seen anything, it would seem now would be the time to research that since most of the rail lines are hurting because hauling coal was their main source of revenue. Great idea though.


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