Cars that drive themselves starting to chat with each other

“It is the mix of big companies — Apple, Google, the automakers and the data aggregators — that starts to create momentum. Two years ago, it was different. It was a promise. Today, it’s reality,” said Laurens Eckelboom, executive vice president of business development at Parkmobile, a smart-parking startup whose investors include BMW AG and Ford Motor Chairman Bill Ford’s venture capital firm Fontinalis Partners.

A “truck platooning” application by Peloton Technology, a startup based in California’s Silicon Valley, is intended to save fuel and reduce collisions.

As with virtual towing, a “platoon” of two heavy trucks use wireless communication and computer-controlled braking and acceleration to keep in close formation on the highway, according to a description by the company, which expects to start selling the technology late next year at $2,000 per truck plus a share of the projected operating savings.