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Self-driving lorries to be tested on UK roads

Posted on 29/08/2017 by Dave Irons

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To many people, self-driving lorries still seem as something that will only be seen on the movie screen, but a surprise is the fact that the technology is there and is becoming ever closer to being a reality on the roads.

There has been plenty said about self-driving cars and a common feature in the news is the mishaps and accidents that have happened in their trial stages. So how would we go about developing a self-driving vehicle that is far larger than a car? In truth, self-driving HGVs are a lot simpler to create because their journey is mainly on motorways and dual carriageways. This means that it’s easier for the technology to work than in busy town centres.

UK Self-driving lorries 

The government has announced this month that fleets of self-driving lorries will be trialled on motorways in Britain in 2018.

The fleets will be made up of three lorries with acceleration and braking controlled by the driver in the lead lorry using wireless technology. There will also be drivers sat in the other lorries while they are tested but they should only need to take the wheel in the case of an emergency.

What does it mean for HGV driver jobs?

The logistics industry has been exclaiming the shortage of HGV drivers in the UK for a few years now. The shortage and rarity of experienced, qualified HGV drivers means that employers have been willing to pay more to recruit them. An increase in HGV driver salaries has created higher interest in the industry and made more consider the career.

Drivers might see the self-driving technology as a threat to their jobs but it depends on what regulations are put in place once they are allowed on UK roads. It may be the case that a driver needs to remain in each lorry throughout the journey in case of emergency.

It won’t be anytime soon but your first thought will be that your job is in jeopardy, but the technology is there to make things easier for drivers. HGV driving is a tough job that demands physical and concentration and the technology with relieve some pressure. The technology could bring interest from the younger age groups that are much needed in the industry.

Whilst the technology is being trialled on UK roads next year, it will be a long time before all HGVs are replaced with self-driving technologies. HGV driver jobs remain much needed in the industry and there are appealing financial rewards available for those that pursue a career in the industry.

Recruitment agency for HGV drivers

For persons who enjoy driving, life as a truck driver can be a very lucrative one. With the right training and skills, drivers can build themselves a worthwhile career in logistics. To find your next role or begin your career as a HGV driver, get in touch with Embark Recruitment today on 01530 588 841 or browse our current HGV driver jobs.