The seemingly endless hunt for ways to improve our day-to-day commute has led to many interesting and unique ideas. While many are less than feasible, every now and again one comes along that just might be able to make a difference. The GPS based "Sartre" system may be able to join this elite league of automotive innovations.
"Sartre" is the shortened version of "Safe Road Trains for the Environment" and, as the name implies, is based on using a long group of vehicles to help traffic move more efficiently. It all begins with a lead vehicle, which is basically a pre-equipped car or truck that can communicate with other vehicles outfitted with the system. They will travel the highways and be able to take control of other vehicles, with the permission of the driver of course, and then essentially lead the pack.
Using this system would allow up to nine vehicles to travel at a fairly constant speed with relatively little distance between them. When one of the vehicles is approaching a desired exit, it will signal its intention and then wait for a small gap to form. Once the other vehicles have made sufficient room to leave the "platoon," you simply take control of your vehicle and leave the highway.
The system is being tested on a handful of test tracks across Europe. The testing will eventually make its way to the public road system, but only after proving its reliability.Auto Blog