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UK platooning trucks trial to start

eHighway trial

Platooning trucks are set to be trialled on UK roads, under a new government backed initiative.

The system allows up to three HGVs to travel in convoy and operate as a single unit, with the lead vehicle taking control of speed and direction – enabling braking time for the following vehicles to be cut to zero. The hope is that the results will see safety benefits and a reduction of emissions, while also studying implications for infrastructure needs and commercial adoption.

eHighway trial

eHighway trial

The UK trial is the latest technology driven plan to reduce negative impacts of HGVs. This image shows the eHighway trial being conducted in Germany involving trucks fitted with pantographs running on roads with overhead catenaries installed.

Research institute TRL will lead the £8.1M scheme on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England, following similar platooning projects in Europe and the US.  

“TRL and its consortium of leading international partners have the practical and technical knowledge gained from previous projects to understand what is required to put a connected vehicle platoon on to UK roads safely,” said TRL chief executive Rob Wallis. ”The team are now taking that expertise and uniquely applying it within live traffic operations.”

Who is taking part?

TRL The overall project lead and research partner, responsible for project and risk management
DAF OEM partner and supplier of vehicles for the project
Ricardo Technology partner and engineering and environmental consultant – also worked on platooning feasibility study for the DfT in 2014
DHL Logistics firm providing drivers and freight deliveries for the trials
Transport Systems Catapult Research partner, will contribute to technical trial design and data analysis
Millbrook Test partner, will provide the test track facilities for the off-road platoon testing
TNO Leading Dutch Truck Platooning Trials and will provide reciprocal representation on both the UK and Dutch Advisory Groups.
Costain A strategic partner to Highways England 
Apollo Vehicle Safety Research partner, will provide knowledge and expertise on vehicle safety


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