The UK Department for Transport has commissioned research to understand how platooning technology, which enables road vehicles to move as a group, might benefit UK business, the transport network, road safety and the environment.
Ricardo plc will lead a consortium comprising TRL (Transport Research Laboratory); Ricardo AEA; and Transport & Travel Research Ltd (TTR). The feasibility study will investigate the issues faced by legislators, haulage companies, drivers of the vehicles in the platoon, trunk road network operators and other road users, to establish whether a road trial of a heavy goods vehicle platoon should be considered.
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.—Michael Baker, chief engineer, technology and innovation
It is expected that the feasibility study will report back by the end of the financial year with a view to conducting a road trial in 2014.