Making the connection with Peloton

Posted on 10th March 2014

Castrol innoVentures made three investments in 2013 but what is the link with technology company Peloton and why are we interested?

 

Earlier this year we told you about three investments Castrol innoVentures made in Zubie, GreenSteam and Peloton. In the last of three stories we’re taking a closer look at the Peloton investment and digging deeper into who Peloton are, what they do and why it is of interest to us.

At the end of 2013 Castrol innoVentures invested in US company Peloton Technology: a company that is advancing safety and efficiency in the heavy truck industry. The purpose of the investment is to help Peloton develop its product for truck fleets and assist with bringing it to commercial operators.

Based in Menlo Park, California, Peloton aims to dramatically improve fuel efficiency and road safety, offering fuel savings of more than 10 per cent for users of its technology, which enables pairs of trucks to connect wirelessly and form an aerodynamic platoon.  With fuel being the industry’s second largest expense next to labour costs, addressing fuel efficiency is a high priority for fleets.

“Supporting small innovative companies like Peloton Technology is an important aspect of our future, as fuel efficiency, safety and digital technologies can bring benefits to our customers and help us define future products,” said Jonathan Tudor, Castrol innoVentures Ventures Director. “We followed the development of Peloton Technology for more than a year before deciding to take part in its seed round”

So what’s the connection for Castrol?

Aside from our overarching focus on safety in our operations as an organisation, which this has potential to contribute towards across all industry, there is direct link from the development and use of this technology to the work of Castrol and BP in commercial vehicle lubricant and fuel offers, including our own fuel saving  lubricant for commercial vehicles, Vecton, which will help save our customers even more fuel.

When the technology is activated drivers will remain fully engaged and retain steering control, while the system synchronizes acceleration and braking. Whether linked or used on a single truck, the system provides real-time feedback and alerts on upcoming hazards, equipment issues and other dangers.  Peloton has started testing its product ahead of a planned launch this year.

Peloton Technology CEO Josh Switkes said: “Our commitment is to improve safety as well as efficiency. A wireless link between the two trucks allows the following truck to respond nearly instantaneously when the lead truck applies its brakes, and several added safety features are always on, operating even when trucks are not in platoon. With the help of Castrol innoVentures’ investment we are a step closer to delivering our safety and efficiency technology to the market.”