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BRISTOL: July 25, 2019. DHL has linked up with HGV manufacturer DAF and Fusion Procession for the first real-world operational truck platooning trials in the UK.

A bespoke version of Fusion Processing’s CAVstar system will be used as part of the trial in which three DAF Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) will travel safely in close proximity, at speed, with the lead driver controlling the speed, acceleration and breaking of the whole ‘platoon’.

DAF truck platooning testUse of platooning has the potential to greatly increase fuel efficiency, reduce carbon emissions for trucks and improve safety.

The on-road trials will form part of regular DHL logistical operations. The first phase is expected to take place later this year, following the successful completion of a rigorous programme of driving simulations, driver training and test track trials over the coming months.

The £8.1 million trial, funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England, will see Fusion Processing join a consortium of partners including TRL, a global centre of innovation in transport and mobility, DAF Trucks, the UK market leader of HGV sales, and DHL, the global market leader in the logistics industry.

Applying experience gained in platooning projects in Europe and the USA, the project will be used to collect vital information and independently evaluate heavy vehicle platooning under real-world operational conditions. Importantly, trials will be tailored to the unique requirements of UK roads. Partners will collate the evidence required to understand potential challenges of platooning and quantify benefits such as fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and safety implications for future infrastructure. The trial will also consider the commercial case for adoption and look at the acceptance of platooning by both platoon drivers and other road users.

A bespoke version of Fusion Processing’s CAVstar system has been fitted to the DAF HGVs providing optical and radar sensors to gather data on how other drivers behave around the platooning trucks.

Jim Hutchinson, Chief Executive Officer, Fusion Processing, said; “Taking part in HelmUK, a world-leading trial, is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase how adaptable our CAVstar® sensing and control system is. Working alongside global brands such as DAF, TRL and DHL demonstrates the robustness of our system to gather vital data that will ultimately inform the rollout of this technology to real-world applications.”