It has been officially announced by ministers that next year, for the first time Britain's motorways will trial fleets of ''driverless'' lorries which will accelerate and brake at the same time.They will travel in automated convoys of up to three lorries at a time. But don't worry the vehicles will be controlled by a driver in the lead vehicle, this is all in aid of cutting emissions and congestion.
However, The AA have outlined that the three lorries will be equivalent to half a football pitch in length - which could cause implications and risks for motorists. This concept have been successfully tested in the US and Europe. Despite that the motoring organisation have stated that the concept is not suitable for the UK's extremely busy and congested motorways. They also said that the driver-less lorries will have no benefits to the environment, and have suggested to government invests in electric lorries instead.
Edmund King, President of the AA, said: '' We have some of the busiest motorways in Europe with many more exits and entries. Platooning may work on the miles of deserted freeways in Arizona or Nevada but this is not America.
'' A platoon of just three HGVs can obscure road signs and drivers in the outside lanes and potentially make access to entries and exits difficult for other drivers.
'' On the new motorways, without hard shoulders, lay-bys are every 1.5 miles. A driver in trouble may encounter difficulties trying to get into a lay-by if it is blocked by a platoon of trucks going past.''
The Department for Transport said, that the wireless connected vehicles will be controlled by the lead driver and the vehicles will travel close together. The lead vehicle will push air out of the way, making the other vehicles more efficient and it will help in lowering their emissions. Although the vehicles are "driver less" there will be a driver in each vehicle to handle steering and take control should any problems arise.
The Government have funded the trials with £8.1 million, the concept will be taking place on test tracks prior to setting off on the motorways. We have no details of the whereabouts that the trials will be carried out, but it has been proposed that the trials could take place on the M6 near Carlisle. The trials are also funded by Highways England and the trials will be carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory.
Vehicle autonomy levels Paul Maynard, the transport minister, said: '' We are investing in technology that will improve peoples lives. ''Advances such as lorry platooning could benefit businesses through cheaper fuel bills and other road users thanks to lower emissions and less congestion. ''But first we must make sure the technology is safe and works well on our roads, and that's why we are investing in these trials.''
What are your thoughts on driver-less lorries? Would you consider the use of this technology for your business?