• This topic has 71 replies, 47 voices, and was last updated 4 years ago by timba.
Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 72 total)
  • "Driverless" trucks
  • Premier Icon wilburt
    Free Member

    Well thats what the headline in all the papers say but if you read the story they all have drivers.
    They are just using somekind of active cruise control to link speed and braking.

    The main benefit is fuel saving for the operators but its being sold as an enviromental benefit and paid for by the Goverment and Highways agency.

    So the headlines BS, we are giving money to Tory sponsors and its a crap idea anyway.

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Free Member

    I’d like to see one that doesn’t have an iPad constantly streaming Pron whilst the drivers “driving”

    Any chance ?

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    I was thinking about this while cycling round Canada wierdly -just thinking about career moves mostly .

    What will be the biggest hurdle in automated vehicles.

    It’ll be the unions and legislation of course.

    Just look at the trains. In theory trains should be the easiest thing in the world to automate or at least run remotely . Unions and legislation have then unable to do so.

    Premier Icon kjcc25
    Free Member

    Most drive pretty close together already and if it stops some of them taking three or four miles to overtake, then I’m all for it.

    Premier Icon onehundredthidiot
    Free Member

    Roads too busy? Well why not try three in the morning? Don’t move the stuff at peak times. Surely if it’s using the motorway network these town/cities are mainly covered by the rail network work. Instead of roadtrains why not tracktrains?

    Imagine the tailbacks caused by one “train” overtaking another with a speed differential of 0.25mph as seems to happen now.

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    Because our country insists on a train every 3 minutes to everywhere our lines are as congested as our roads and a majority of the freight handling lines and areas are gone/minimised as they were in prime retail and residential space in the middle of town.

    Certainly what’s happened up here.

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    Why is it a crap idea?

    Premier Icon JackHammer
    Full Member

    Less prostitutes getting murdered in truckstops too.

    Premier Icon WildHunter2009
    Free Member

    Having spent a lot of time driving on shared roads with enormous terrifying autonomous mine trucks I reckon convoys on motorways is probably easier. Wouldn’t surprise me though if initially it’s one driven truck with others slaved to it plus autonomous safety systems.

    Premier Icon globalti
    Free Member

    It’s called Platooning and it’s being promoted by Peloton Technology (cheeky theft of a name there). It looks pretty sensible, you can see it explained here. It’s no worse than what truck drivers already do to save fuel: https://peloton-tech.com/

    Love the laconic lift of the fingers at the moment of separation.

    Premier Icon pocpoc
    Full Member

    Do the standby drivers in the following trucks have to be ready to react and step in immediately to prevent an incident?
    I couldn’t imagine staring at the back of another truck for 4 hours primed and alert just in case and then being able to react in time. I’d probably be day dreaming about something completely unrelated and only notice when my face in in the back of the truck in front.

    Premier Icon wilburt
    Free Member

    t’s called Platooning and it’s being promoted by Peloton Technology (cheeky theft of a name there). It looks pretty sensible, you can see it explained here. It’s no worse than what truck drivers already do to save fuel: https://peloton-tech.com/

    Thats fine so why is the UK tax payer stumping up £8.5m to trial it rather than the haulage companies who stand to benefit from it.

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Free Member

    Autonomous drivers can only make trucks safer. I’ve no objection if a lorry driver wants to follow another truck with a six-foot gap, but HGVs tailgating other cars must be the most dangerous thing you can see on the motorways.

    Even at a GPS-indicated 55mph in a 50 zone you’ll find a lorry sat on your bumper in lane one, full beams on in encouragement to go faster. It’s not as if they’re not watching TV / porn / movies / the microwave / newspaper etc in the cab already.

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Free Member

    I suggested a while a go on another thread that driverless trucks would be more widespread than cars initially. Makes loads of sense, safer, more fuel efficient, reduce congestion (night time running), 24hr running no rest stops, less likely to be hijacked pulled over at night. Lorry driver is not a career to be considering moving into today.

    Premier Icon uselesshippy
    Free Member

    Do you remember at school, being taught the relationship between rabbit and fox populations? Well truck driver and prostitute populations are the same. If the truck driver levels drop, there will be nothing keeping the hooker count down, and before you know it, they’ll be everywhere, the country will be knee deep in brasses.
    Don’t say you haven’t be warned.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Free Member

    They call them trains…

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    I’m all for it. Although the footage on the news this morning still showed some big gaps between trucks, bigger than the human drivers seem to leave at the moment! Surely the more efficient implementation would be to actually couple the trucks together and link the engine, steering and braking systems electronically to keep them going in a straight line? I.e. more like trains.

    Only problem is junctions, longer “platoon’s” are going to block slip roads as they pass?

    Although I’d be more in favour of solving that by of putting an actual 55mph speed limit on the ‘slow lane’, banning overtaking on slip roads and install CCTV cameras to catch the shittiest drivers who feel the need to floor it/stand on the brakes to make the slip road cutting up the other traffic rather than just merging with everyone else.

    Premier Icon thomthumb
    Free Member

    My concern is people joining motorways with 3 trucks sat in the inside lane. See way to many people joining ‘bunched up’ already. when they realise there’s 3 hgvs where thay want to be it’ll be chaos.

    Instead of roadtrains why not tracktrains?

    majority of the freight handling lines and areas are gone/minimised as they were in prime retail and residential space in the middle of town.

    Southampton (UKs 2nd busiest container port) residents have rejected a rail freight depot because of noise. Even if you hadsomewhere to unload the containers they can’t load any more.

    Premier Icon globalti
    Free Member

    Look at the video I linked above. It’s actually no different from what executive cars can already do if they are equipped with “follow me” cruise control. The government is wringing the last bit of capacity out of our roads with smart motorways, which use exterior stimuli to encourage drivers to bunch together so it won’t be long before all cars are using follow me technology in heavy traffic in the same way as those trucks. It makes complete sense.

    Premier Icon nealglover
    Free Member

    The main benefit is fuel saving for the operators but its being sold as an enviromental benefit

    You will need to explain why it can’t be both at the same time.
    I’m not getting it.

    …and it’s a crap idea anyway

    Why ?

    Premier Icon cheers_drive
    Free Member

    The argument that truck drivers have for overtaking another truck at 0.25mph more is usually something to do with the gearing and load combinations being so fine. Does this debunk that or will one of the trucks in the train always be in the wrong gear?

    If the distance it leaves is more than a driver currently leaves cars will cut in to that gap and the gap will get bigger and bigger until the truck behind is no longer ‘connected’ to the one in front. My car has active cruise control and even set to the closest following setting (which is scary when your foot is not it it’s normal position next to the brake) other cars continually cut in to the gap, my car them slows and re-establishes the gap, another car cuts in …….

    Automated trucks and cars are the future and I’m looking forward to when they all are, the transition will be messy though.

    Premier Icon Stevet1
    Free Member

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    Ben wrote:

    Love the laconic lift of the fingers at the moment of separation.

    I’m expecting slightly different gestures with the fingers if they do it in the UK.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Free Member

    Most drive pretty close together already and if it stops some of them taking three or four miles to overtake, then I’m all for it.

    Oh this!

    I’ve been thinking a lot recently about roads, transport and the environment – I still believe we could reduce traffic massively by letting people work from home, but that needs a big shift in thought.

    I’ve spent a lot of time on the motorway this week, everyone moans about the standards of driving in the UK (and most have a point) but it’s always someone else – at peak times there’s typically 20 cars in a long snaking queue in lane 3 at 60-80 constantly accelerating and braking because 1) the guy in front is taking the piss 2) if you don’t someone will cut you up.

    The “don’t hog lane 2” law that passed a few years ago hasn’t really helped – I believe there’s been a single conviction in 4 years. but I think we could do something by stopping lorries passing each other at 0.001 mph faster – I originally thought about allowing them a sort of DRS system – a button to lift the limiter to 65mph for 2 mins to make a quicker pass, but as most are set at 56 by the owners to limit fuel use, it seems unlikely.

    I’d enforce a ‘no pass’ rule during peak times – enforced by sniper on over-passes. Honestly it’s horribly anti-social, and it causes the sort of “if I don’t do him, he’ll do me” thinking that makes our motorways such hell to drive on. You’re there to do a job, you’re limited to 56, the next one is limited to 56 – don’t pull out (cutting people up as you go) for the 15 seconds you’re faster than him because he’s carrying more weight uphill because you shuffle everyone else into lane 3 and cause big jams.

    I one spent more than 7 hours driving from Sheffield to Cardiff which should take half that, because every stretch of 2 lane motorway was jammed with truckers taking the piss.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    cheers_drive wrote:

    If the distance it leaves is more than a driver currently leaves cars will cut in to that gap

    I’m expecting this will mostly (exclusively?) be used on motorways and DCs in the UK. How many cars tend to cut in close behind a truck on the motorway?

    Seems an eminently sensible idea to me if it can be done properly – in fact exactly the sort of thing I’ve always thought adding automation to vehicles should enable. Benefits in fuel economy (hence cost to the operator and environmental benefits) and in terms of road capacity. Sure there are some issues such as trains of lorries passing slip roads – maybe you just have to increase the gap after every 2nd lorry when passing a slip road to give joining vehicles a gap, maybe you have detect joining vehicles and open a gap if necessary.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    I one spent more than 7 hours driving from Sheffield to Cardiff which should take half that, because every stretch of 2 lane motorway was jammed with truckers taking the piss.

    Sat behind an ambulance with blue lights on yesterday, behind two trucks overtaking. Must have been at least a mile and a half before it pulled in.

    I’m expecting this will mostly (exclusively?) be used on motorways and DCs in the UK. How many cars tend to cut in close behind a truck on the motorway?

    Have you ever seen a motorway?

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    er, yes, they’re where most car drivers don’t bother using the left lane (not if there’s a truck less than half a mile in front) – what’s your point?

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    er, yes,

    Then you’ll observe some tit in a 3 series/A4/X5/RR-Sport at seemingly every junction slam on the brakes in the outside lane, cut across the other two lanes and chevrons and barge his way into the queue of traffic on the sliproad.

    Probably doesn’t cause too many accidents at the moment because no one has time to react to him. Imagine the chaos when a computer tries to avoid him…….

    Even without the loonies, leave a 2second gap on the M4 at rushour and before you can lift off from the last one, someone else will have pulled into the gap.

    Premier Icon Bustaspoke
    Free Member

    I’m expecting this will mostly (exclusively?) be used on motorways and DCs in the UK. How many cars tend to cut in close behind a truck on the motorway?

    As someone who drives a 44 tonne artic I can assure you plenty cut in front of trucks on motorways.
    Best one so far this year? Rushour on the M61 I’m in the inside lane,at the very last second some idiot in a Merc comes flying across to go down the slip road.Unfortunately for him the slip road is queuing back up to the motorway carriageway.There was no way he could stop in time,there’s a load of dust flying in the air & he ended up on the slip road hard shoulder in front of 3 queuing cars.That’s the most stupid one,I can recall a few more…

    Premier Icon bowglie
    Full Member

    Usual turd polishing idea by companies & road lobby favouring politicians who are looking to make money out of it.

    They call them trains…

    This!

    Trains and sensibly located distribution centres – a bit like the integrated goods distribution system that the country used to have before the road lobby got their agenda through.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Free Member

    at the very last second some idiot in a Merc comes flying across to go down the slip road

    That happens to car drivers too.

    Premier Icon FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    How does the driverless truck get from the narrow back road, along the A roads and multiple traffic lights to the nice utopian motorway?

    I know even having mates following in their car its often too easy to get split up at traffic lights and roundabouts. Does the first truck decide to pull out when clear/on green light, and then the other 2 trucks just think **** it and pull out too ?

    You can see some pretty spectacular crahes happening too on dual carriage ways where people try and slot in betweeen the lorries.

    Premier Icon zanelad
    Free Member

    How often will three trucks need to go to the same destination. Krispy Kremes for the local police station apart.

    On the motorways they can travel in convoy, but what happens when one needs to turn off?

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Free Member

    I’ve always called it elephant racing as it reminds me very much of it.
    What I don’t understand is when a truck pulls out to overtake there isn’t a gentleman’s agreement in place that means the driver on the inside “yields” by lifting off the gas for a few moments to then get back in the slipstream of the one that they’ve just let in for a bit of a tow. Rather than the general situation where there’s 0.14mph difference between them and it takes 1-8 miles to execute the maneuvre.

    Premier Icon Dickyboy
    Free Member

    Still waiting to see what will happen with driverless vehicles in towns and cities once pedestrians and cyclists realise they can reclaim the streets coz automated vehicles will be programmed not to mow them down 8)

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    zanelad wrote:

    On the motorways they can travel in convoy, but what happens when one needs to turn off?

    One turns off. What do you think the problem with that is?

    Similarly getting onto the motorway in the first place – they don’t need to do that in convoy, the “peleton” forms when the trucks are on the motorway, and not necessarily with trucks which started from the same place (or are going to the same place).

    The whole point is that they form up in an ad-hoc fashion between trucks which are just sharing part of the journey. Anybody would think that some people didn’t bother watching the video in the original link…

    Premier Icon poly
    Free Member

    Thats fine so why is the UK tax payer stumping up £8.5m to trial it rather than the haulage companies who stand to benefit from it.

    Because:

    1. An individual haulier is not going to invest the money to help all his competitors – its better that they all get it rather than it be exclusive to the one who invests.
    2. There is a potential environmental and economic benefit
    3. The process requires legislative/regulatory support – supporting one haulier over another would introduce a bias, whereas supporting the neutral TRL does not
    4. Investing in new tech that makes our roads safer, more efficient, environmentally better, etc is exactly what government should do – especially when the projects are at stage where the return on investment may not be well enough proven to convince commercial enterprises to lead it – its called innovation and is a key element of economic prosperity.

    Premier Icon edhornby
    Free Member

    I couldn’t imagine staring at the back of another truck for 4 hours primed and alert just in case and then being able to react in time. I’d probably be day dreaming about something completely unrelated and only notice when my face in in the back of the truck in front.

    it’s a good point, IIRC Ford have ditched all their landtrain/driver aided tech research in favour of full autonomous vehicle development, personally I’d rather we all focus on the end state (full autonomous vehicles, properly integrated transport, better distribution) and then the 0.1% of the population that bustaspoke describes can be dealt with appropriately

    this isn’t a pop at truck drivers btw, I trust them more than the goons in an pointlessly powerful car with poor judgement

    Premier Icon twisty
    Full Member

    Other countries have already done HGV convoy trials, and there are quite a few other Automated Vehicle trails already taking place in UK.
    At first glance it may seem quite simple, but fine tuning the system and making sure everything is done safely involves a fair bit of work.
    For example when the lorries approach the crest of a hill the 2nd and 3rd lorries need to lift off their throttle before the lead lorry due to the drafting effect, and the optimisation algorithms have quite a few variables, road profile, wind speed, lorry load etc.

    Another reason why haulage is a good use case for early adoption of Autonomous driving is it is easier to absorb the cost of the Autonomous Driving system against the capital cost of an HGV, vs a car. As time goes on the cost of sensors will drop and the systems will be more intelligent and be able to operate safely with fewer and cheaper sensors.

    Premier Icon globalti
    Free Member

    So far the only companies who are cooperating on this in the UK are DAF, DHL and Ricardo. They have far-sighted management.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 72 total)

The topic ‘"Driverless" trucks’ is closed to new replies.

Thanks for popping by - why not stay a while?IT'S FREE

Sign up as a Singletrack Member and you can leave comments on stories, use the classified ads, and post in our forums, do quizzes and more.

Join us, join in, it’s free, and fun.