PARTIALLY DRIVERLESS TRUCKS are set to become a reality on UK motorways after a government trial was given the go-ahead.
‘Platooning’ is the process where a convoy of trucks is connected via wireless technology and accelerating, braking and steering are controlled by the lead vehicle.
The UK trial will see three heavy goods vehicles as part of the convoy with drivers in each cab ready to take control if needed.
“A row of lorries driving closer together could see the front truck pushing the air out of the way, making the vehicles in the convoy more efficient, lowering emissions and improving air quality,” the UK’s Department for Transport said in a statement.
Transport Research Laboratory is to carry out the trial with £8.1 million worth of government support and the company says it will first carry out track tests before moving to public roads.
The track tests will decide the appropriate distance between the vehicles and will determine the roads on which the vehicles will be tested.
Trials are expected on UK roads before the end of next year.
Last month, Ireland’s Transport Minister Shane Ross said that he was not aware of any proposals to test driverless cars on Irish roads.