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latooning' lorries could save transport

companies millions in fuel costs each year

Some drivers eat, others read, one even appears

to be asleep. Stranger still, only the driver of the

lorry in front has his hands on his steering wheel.

The other drivers appear to be driving hands-free.

This may sound like a scene from a

sci-fi film, but is actually 'platooning',

a technology being tested to make longdistance lorry driving more fuel-efficient

and less polluting.

Using wireless technology, the lead truck,

operated by a trained driver, controls the

convoy behind it. When he brakes, the

other lorries brake automatically; when

he steers, they steer, too.

Radar-based 'adaptive cruise control'

ensures all trucks are travelling at a

consistently safe distance from each

other. As the vehicles shelter behind

each other in the "road train",

aerodynamic drag resistance is reduced

leading to 15% fuel savings, advocates

of the technology say.

'Platooning' is just one of many

technologies being used to tackle freight

transport emissions, which contribute

a large and growing proportion of all

transport pollution, whether by land,

air or sea.

read more >

Did you know?

n The world needs to cut

emissions by 50% by 2050

against 1990 levels to

avoid the risk of dangerous

climate change.

n In the EU, while emissions

from other sectors are

generally falling, those from

transport have increased

36% since 1990.

n HGVs alone accounted

for 19% of UK transport

emissions in 1999-2010,

and vans a further 12%.

n Transport accounts for

about 35% to 40% of global

total energy end use.


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