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Jul 16, 2016

TRUCKS PLATOONING * UK : Changes to rules and regulations

* UK - Platoons of self-driving trucks are one rule change away from being legal in 


--- Efforts to make self-driving vehicles commonplace don’t just come down to automotive technology. They also will require changing the rules that govern the roads... The latter is a focus now in the UK, where the government has proposed regulatory changes that would smooth the way for a form of self-driving truck technology called “platooning.” That’s when trucks are connected by wireless technologies, like wifi, to follow a manned lead vehicle in a tight convoy, saving fuel and potentially manpower... Truck platooning in the UK would be allowed with tweaks to one regulation, which says that drivers must leave a two-second gap between their vehicle and the vehicle in front... That two-second rule is based on the driver’s “thinking distance,” or how quickly the driver must respond to a change in speed in the vehicle in front, and the “braking distance,” which is how quickly the vehicle can reduce its speed. Trucks tested in trials by automakers like Volvo and Scania have driven in platoons with gaps of less than one second between them... Connected truck platoons can greatly reduce “thinking distance,” if not eliminate it entirely, because the trucks farther back in the convoy can react almost instantly to changes in speed in the leading vehicle. The tighter a platoon, the less fuel is used and the less carbon emitted...
 (Photo: Reuters/Peter Nicholls - It's easier to endure this sort of traffic hands-free)  --  London, EN, UK - Quartz, by Joon Ian Wong - July 13, 2016

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