Driverless lorries to be trialled on UK motorways

The Department for Transport has revealed that a fleet of self-driving lorries is to trialled on motorways in the UK next year for the first time.

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"'Driverless' lorries to be trialled on our roads

Video report. It's been announced that driverless lorries are to be trialled on our motorways. Under the scheme being run by the Transport Research Laboratory, a "platoon leader" driving a heavy goods vehicle will lead a small convoy, with the following trucks piloted by computers.

'Driverless' lorry trials on UK roads

Trials have been carried out in Europe and the USA Credit: RoadSafetyGB

The Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England has commissioned TRL, the global centre of innovation in transport and mobility, to lead the first real-world operational trial of 'platooning' vehicles on UK roads.

The £8.1m trial will see TRL lead a consortium of partners including DAF Trucks, the UK market leader of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) sales; Ricardo, who worked with TRL to deliver the HGV platooning feasibility study for the DfT in 2014; and DHL.

TRL says that by applying experience gained in platooning projects in Europe and the USA, the project will collect information and independently evaluate heavy vehicle real-world operational conditions.

Trials will be tailored to the unique requirements of UK roads and will collate the evidence required to understand issues such as fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, safety, plus acceptance by drivers.


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