The end of truckers? Driverless lorries to hit British motorways for very first time


Chancellor George Osborne is conjectured to confirm funding for the initiative in his Budget next week.

The Government weights the updated technology will save money and boasts environmental benefits, engendering less pollution.

But driving groups have blasted the new scheme and cautioned of the dangers , saying it could lead to the loss of jobs and even varied congestion.

A stretch of the M6 near Carlisle has been earmarked as a potential probe route, where the driverless vehicles will travel in lightly overflowing convoys.

Steering, accelerating and braking of the road train will be handled by a driver in the lead vehicle, although the drones will each procure a drive in the cab as a safety precaution to regain control in the event of an emergency.

The HGVs choice use GPS and radar to navigate and keep their distance from others conduits and a camera to read road markings.

The technology could develop so much so a driver is one needed in the lead lorry in the near future.

ul Watters, chief of roads and transport policy for the AA, said thy needed “considerable reassurance that it will be OK”.

He went on: “Polling has shown that our members don’t feel safe helping the motorway with automated HGVs.

“A fleet of lorries will construct it incredibly difficult for drivers to get on or off the road and for them to spot crucial movements.

“The effects of this plan on unemployment are worrying too.

“Convoys of driverless lorries and motorists will-power certainly be very nervous about the prospect and will need large reassurance that it will be safe.”

Matt Pryke is one of the 285,000 HGV drivers in the UK who finishes the prospect of losing his job.

The 36-year-old, from Sudbury, Suffolk, said the first move would be hard “to beat those key human skills”.

He told The Sun on Sunday: “It won’t perpetually work safely. A fully loaded lorry travelling at even 40mph can do a whopping amount of damage.

“A driver can assess much more than a camera when clever reactions are needed in an emergency. I don’t think you will ever beat those key gentle skills.” Road Hauliers Association chief executive Richard Burnett said the “chap lies in the detail”.

He went on: “A crash on the M5 in 2011 involved a number of instruments driving in procession in thick fog.

“Because of poor visibility the consequences of this configuration were ruinous. People were killed and many injured.

“The distance between agencies driving in this manner is absolutely critical.”

The De rtment for Transport could not ratify the location of the test route or timetable and would not speculate on whether the examine will receive funding in the Budget, although it said planning for pilots was under way.

A spokeswoman added: “New technology has the potential to bring larger improvements to journeys and the UK is in a unique position to lead the way for the testing of connected and driverless mechanisms.

“We are planning trials of HGV platoons – which enable vehicles to move in a arrange so they use less fuel – and will be in a position to say more in due course.”

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