The UK government promised to give £8.1m for the trials of semi-autonomous “platooning” lorries. This unique scheme has an amazing quality that these lorries will be controlled by computers there is no need of drivers for these lorries. The plan is that a “platoon leader” driving a hefty goods vehicle will head a small group, with the trucks, or drones which are controlled by computers.
These computer controlled trucks will move closely behind one another and are connected electronically, collaborating via radar, GPS, and Wi-Fi.
The position, speed, and the way are indomitable by the lead driver of the truck, who also controls acceleration, braking, and steering for the whole group of lorries. And the distance between the trucks or lorries is enhanced to lower down the air slog, less use of fuel, and emissions potentially by up to 20%.
The funding for the pilot scheme on motorways in England is announced by the roads minister Paul Maynard in England when he visited DAF Trucks Leyland truck plant in Lancashire.
He said, “We believe this system has the potential not just to save fuel and therefore emissions, but also to reduce congestion on our roads. It’s potentially win-win all round, and this investment is to ensure we are at the forefront of this new technology.”
The positive thing about these trials is that they are noticed positive while their trials made in the US, Sweden, and Germany. But there is one point which is raised by the experts that Britain’s roads may not be as ideal for these driverless lorries as the roads of other countries.
The president of AA, Mr. Edmund King said: “I think the real problem in Britain is that we have some of the most congested motorways in the world. We have more exits and entries on our motorways than any other motorway system.”
He further said: “So what that means is either the platoon would have to break up at entries or exits or indeed, pull over, or that could cause problems for drivers in other cars trying to get on the motorway or get off.”
DAF is working for some time on the technology and get the contract for trials and this trials will be checked and assessed by the independent Transport Research Laboratory.