An £8.1 million project will see UK trial connected vehicle platoons in a real-world environment.
10:56 29 August 2017
The Department for Transport and Highways England and the Transport Research Laboratory will carry out ‘platooning’ trials that will see up to three heavy goods vehicles travelling in convoy with acceleration and braking controlled by the lead vehicle. It is hoped that the technology could benefit motorists and businesses in the UK.
Transport Minister Paul Maynard said: “We are investing in technology that will improve people’s lives.
“Advances such as lorry platooning could benefit businesses through cheaper fuel bills and other road users thanks to lower emissions and less congestion.
“But first we must make sure the technology is safe and works well on our roads, and that’s why we are investing in these trials.
“The Transport Research Laboratory will carry out the trial, with funding provided by the Department for Transport and Highways England. It follows a government-funded feasibility study which recommended a trial to examine the benefits and viability of platooning.”
Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England Chief Executive, said: “We are pleased to be supporting the government’s ambition for the UK to be a global leader for innovation.
“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 TRL.
“The trial will be carried out in 3 phases, with the first focusing on the potential for platooning on the UK’s major roads. Initial test track based research will help decide details such as distance between vehicles and on which roads the tests could take place.
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