Driverless lorries to be tested on UK roads


A small quantity of partially self-driving lorries will be tested on UK roads in the next year, the government has announced.

Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) have been awarded a contract to carry out trial runs on the vehicle 'platoons'. The lorries will travel in convoys of three trucks, with the front vehicle leading the accelerating and breaking, which will be controlled by a human driver who will control the other two remotely. 

Safety concerns have been raised by the head of the AA, but the benefits are thought to be substantial. The lorries will drive closer together, reducing air resistance, improving fuel efficiency for haulage companies, which Transport Minister Paul Maynard hopes will be passed on to consumers. 

The TRL will begin trials of the technology on test tracks, but these trials are expected to move to major roads by the end of 2018.

The TRL also says it will carefully choose the parts of the motorways used in the trials, taking the number of junctions and traffic into account, in order to ensure that other drivers will be able to turn off the motorway and not be blocked by the platoon. 

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