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Japan looks to put automated truck convoys on road in 3 years

'Platooning' should ease truck-driver shortages

TOKYO -- The Japanese government aims to have columns of synchronized driverless vehicles following a human-operated one on a major highway in fiscal 2020 -- an innovation expected to relieve shortages of truck drivers.

The concept is known as platooning. The autonomous vehicles in the convoy keep in contact wirelessly with the lead vehicle, applying acceleration and brakes as needed to maintain appropriate distances.

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