2014: the year of the driverless LGV trial?
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THE TEAM contracted by the Department for Transport (DfT) to explore the potential of using convoys of driverless LGVs on UK roads said it expected to launch a trial this year.
However, technology firm Ricardo said that each vehicle in the platoon would have a driver at all times. The company is leading a consortium — also made up of the Transport Research Laboratory and Transport &Travel Research — commissioned by the DfT to understand how platooning technology might benefit haulage firms, the transport network,
road safety, and the environment.
A feasibility study into its use is being drafted, and it is expected that it will report back before the end of this financial year, "with a view to conducting a road trial in 2014", said a Ricardo spokesman.
"We've been engaged in platooning research with international partners and see this emerging technology as offering significant benefits in economic and environmental terms," said chief engineer Michael Baker, adding that potential locations to trial the technology have yet to be decided.
The DfT did not respond.