The DfT has commissioned research to understand how platooning technology, which enables road vehicles to move as a group, might be used in the UK to benefit business, the transport network, road safety and the environment.
The research will be carried out by a consortium led by Ricardo plc supported by TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) and Transport & Travel Research Ltd (TTR).
The feasibility study will investigate the issues faced by legislators, haulage companies, drivers of vehicles in a platoon, trunk road network operators and other road users, to establish whether a road trial of a heavy goods vehicle platoon should be considered.
Michael Baker, chief engineer, technology and innovation at Ricardo plc, said: “We have been actively engaged in platooning research over a number of years with multiple international partners and see this emerging technology as offering significant benefits in both economic and environmental terms.”
Ricardo expects to complete the feasibility study by the end of the 2013/14 financial year with a view to conducting a road trial in 2014.