The Blog

Lorry Platooning

04 September 2017 by Edward Martin

New wireless technology trials for lorries on motorways are soon to be carried out, which could have very real benefits for logistics companies in the UK and beyond.

Announced by the Department for Transport, the £8.1 million government-funded project will see three platooned heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) travelling in convoy, with their braking and acceleration controlled by the vehicle in front.

It’s thought that the benefits of driving in this way could include lower emissions, greater efficiencies and improvements to air quality. But rest assured that all lorries travelling in this platoon formation will always still have a driver ready to assume control of the vehicle when necessary!

Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan explained that trials are due to take place on major roads by the end of next year – and testing will only be carried out when evidence is there to suggest that it can be done safely.

He went on to add: “The trial has the potential to demonstrate how greater automation of vehicles – in this instance, HGVs – can deliver improvements in safety, better journeys for road users and reduction in vehicle emissions. Investing in this research shows we care about those using our roads, the economy and the environment, and safety will be integral as we take forward this work with the Transport Research Laboratory.”

Meanwhile, those sending goods by air freight could soon see the planes used by fuels made from rubbish being sent to landfill as part of plans to really promote cleaner alternative fuels. Trials of jet fuel made from waste have already been carried out in Europe and North America – and now a competition in the UK has been launched for groups interested in carrying out research in this particular sector.

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