Driverless lorries could slash fuel costs and congestion, says Transport Research Laboratory
Lorries on motorways will soon be able to travel in a regulated convoy that all brake, accelerate and steer in synchronisation thanks to new wireless technology trials.
The £8.1mn project approved by the government was announced on Friday, August 25, and will potentially see up to three heavy goods vehicles travelling together, with the lead vehicle controlling the speed and braking.
All vehicles will have a driver ready to take the wheel at any given time, whilst it is hoped the idea could make the vehicles more efficient and lower emissions.
"We are investing in technology that will improve people’s lives," commented Transport Minister Paul Maynard.
"Lorry platooning could benefit businesses through cheaper fuel bills and other road users thanks to lower emissions and less congestion."
The trial will be conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory, with funding provided by the Department for Transport and Highways England.
Jim O'Sullivan, Highways England's Chief Executive, said: "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."
Trials are expected to begin on major roads by the end of 2018, but not everyone has been receptive to the idea - Edmund King, president of the AA, raised concerns.
"We all want to promote fuel efficiency, but we are not convinced that lorry platooning is the way to go about reducing congestion."
"This strategy may work on the miles of deserted freeway in Arizona or Nevada but we have some of the busiest motorways in Europe with many more exits and entries."
Searching for the Top 100 Leaders in Technology
The search is on for the Top 100 Leaders in Technology 2021 – nominated by readers of Technology magazine and open to all.
The initiative has been launched and nominations are now open, with the final, prestigious Top 100 due to be announced during Technology and AI LIVE running 14-16 September, beamed from London to the world.
This latest, definitive list of the leading executives and influencers in the industry will be announced at the event and shared across social media channels, this website, and presented in a special supplement that honours all of those named in our annual list.
The Top 100 Leaders follows on from the well-received Top 100 Women in Technology that BizClik Media Group (BMG) – publishers of Technology magazine, AI magazine and a growing portfolio of industry-leading titles – produced in March this year to coincide with International Women’s Day.
“The Top 100 Women recognised the incredible and influential women driving our industry,” says Scott Birch, editorial director, BMG. “The success of that initiative encouraged us to recognise the Top 100 Leaders – individuals championing everything that we love about technology and embracing best practice that’s good for business.”
Nominations are already coming in, with some notable highlights including:
Rhonda Vetere - Herbalife
Bryan Smith - Expedient
Nominate your Top 100 Leader HERE
The deadline for nominations closes on Sunday 1 August 2021, and it is free to nominate. The Top 100 Leaders will be announced across our platforms and at the LIVE event.