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UK trialling driverless lorries

Congestion-busting driverless lorries are headed for the UK’s motorways.

We’re all familiar with the concept of driverless cars thanks to the extensive work Google and other tech companies have been doing in the field. Pretty soon, however, entire platoons of HGVs could be moving along our roads en masse.

The Department for Transport has said that the UK will be leading the way in testing such “HGV platoons”. These groups of trucks will be led by a single human-driven lorry, with up to ten automated lorries following closely behind, just metres apart.

Utilising radar and camera systems, the automated trucks will be able to adjust instantly to the manoeuvres of other road users. This approach would serve to conserve fuel, speed up deliveries, and ease congestion on the UK’s overused roads.

Trials of such driverless lorry convoys will apparently take place on a quiet stretch of the M6 in Cumbria later in 2016, reports the BBC.

Related: Best self-driving tech from the Geneva Motor Show

Some have questioned whether such a system would be helpful in a country with the most motorway entrances and exits in Europe. Having a long snaking line of ten lorries could make it tricky for other vehicles to join and leave the road.

Such tests have already been carried out in Germany by Daimler (pictured), but of course that country has much larger motorways with fewer exits.

Next, check out our CES 2016 interview with Don Butler, executive director for Connected Vehicles and Services at Ford:

Would you trust a mostly driverless convoy on the UK’s busy motorways? Let us know in the comments below.

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