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Platoons lead the way to an autonomous future

19 May 2017

In recent months there has been much discussion in the media about autonomous vehicles and, in particular, truck platooning. While fully autonomous vehicles are still a few years off, platooning could be happening on our roads sooner than you think. Although the technological, legislative, insurance and indeed cultural changes necessary are still being developed, our industry is already making positive strides to position the UK as a leader in the area of connected and autonomous vehicles.

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association, ACEA, has recently revealed a timeline detailing the steps leading up to the introduction of semi-automated truck convoys by 2025:  EU Roadmap for Truck Platooning . In addition to setting out the timing, the Roadmap also provides guidance to policy makers and authorities on the regulatory changes and political support that will be necessary to see the implementation of this technology.

The report also highlights the significant environmental gains that will be seen with the introduction of platooning, which will support the move to much cleaner and efficient logistics. Trucks travelling in a connected convoy will be able to drive closer together cutting the air-drag, in turn reducing fuel consumption and cutting CO2 emissions by up to 10%. However the report also highlights that in order to take advantage of this development, manufacturers will have to work together and use the a common platooning system – a challenge industry must, and will, address.