Do we want robot lorries to roam the roads?

18 August 2014

lorry There's plans to have computerised truck convoys which are controlled by a single driver and they look like they're going to be tested on British roads as soon as next year.

Of course, with robot lorries, school children on coach trips will miss the opportunity to moon at drivers, get lorries to beep their horns at them or, in some cases, get mucky drivers to show off centrefolds from dirty magazines at them while everyone cackles on the back seat.

These driverless trucks will be electronically linked together, so that the driver in the front vehicle will control the lot. Could be nightmarish if they're falling asleep at the wheel and working through a hangover.

The Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 prototype has already been trialled in Germany.  Scania have also been doing their own tests for the last couple of years. It looks like the automated lorries would have to have humans in them, just in case there's an emergency, which means that they'll either have to do admin work or just drink strong tea from a flask while looking at dirty pictures on their phones.

The idea is that these lorries would cut down on congestion. The reality is that businesses will opt for the cheapest thing.

A government source told the Times: "There are potential benefits, notably reduced costs for haulage firms and reduced congestion for motorists, so there is sense in looking into it. Equally we have to be cautious and ensure that safety isn't compromised in any way."

There's going to be inevitable issues with other drivers trying to enter and exit motorways and being able to see the road signs behind a train of robot trucks.

What do you make of it all?


TOPICS:   Motoring


  • I w.
    How this is any better than what there is today? So the line of non-automated tucks today, each with a driver, will be replaced with a line of automated trucks with one driver in the front and ... drivers in each of the other trucks? And then how does this reduce costs or congestion? Same number of trucks, same number of people?
  • Ray P.
    so what happens when another lorry wants to overtake this road train whilst going uphill?
  • Slacker
    "How this is any better than what there is today? " The robot trucker has a higher IQ and murders less prossies than the current version?

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