A trial for self-driving lorries is expected to help slash fuel costs and congestion on UK roads.
The £8.1 million “platooning” trial will see three heavy goods vehicles travelling in convoy, with acceleration and braking controlled by the lead vehicle and mirrored.
However, all lorries in the platoon will always have a driver ready to take control at any time.
Lorries driving closer together could see the front truck pushing the air out of the way, making the other vehicles more efficient, lowering emissions and improving air quality.
The government says this would lead to fuel savings for businesses which hopefully will be passed on to consumers.
Transport Minister Paul Maynard adds: “Advances such as lorry platooning could benefit businesses through cheaper fuel bills and other road users, thanks to lower emissions and less congestion. But first we must make sure the technology is safe and works well on our roads and that’s why we are investing in these trials.”
The Transport Research Laboratory will initially carry out the trial on test tracks and on major roads by the end of 2018.
Similar trials have already been successfully carried out in Europe and the US.