World News

World News

World News

Bosnian Serb referendum backs disputed 9 January holiday

Bosnian Serbs vote overwhelmingly to maintain 9 January as a national holiday in defiance of Bosnia's highest court.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 9:36 pm

Photos from the British royal family's visit to Canada

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting Canada with their two young children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 8:56 pm

Syria: UN Security Council to meet as government assault on Aleppo rages

The United Nations Security Council is to meet Sunday to discuss the devastating Syrian government offensive that has raged since a shaky ceasefire deal fell apart last week.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 8:53 pm

Suicide bomber kills at least 6 in Iraq

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Baghdad that killed at least six people, according to the ISIS-affiliated Amaq news agency.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 8:01 pm

Miami Marlins baseball star Jose Fernandez dies in boat crash

Jose Fernandez, a pitcher for the Miami Marlins baseball team, dies along with two others in a boat crash aged 24.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 7:41 pm

Hungarian police targeted by homemade bomb

Hungarian police search for a suspect who set off a homemade bomb in the capital Budapest on Saturday night, injuring two police officers.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 6:42 pm

Syria conflict: US accuses Russia of 'barbarism' in Aleppo

The US ambassador to the UN accuses Russia of "barbarism" over the bombing of the Syrian city of Aleppo.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 5:52 pm

Swiss endorse new surveillance powers

Swiss voters give overwhelming approval to new surveillance powers for the country's intelligence agencies.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 4:49 pm

Speedy sausage dogs take to the track

Speedy sausage dogs have been entertaining crowds at at Melbourne's annual Dachshund Race.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 3:55 pm

Couple unharmed in emergency helicopter landing in Langley field - CBC.ca


CBC.ca

Couple unharmed in emergency helicopter landing in Langley field
CBC.ca
A Langley, B.C., couple escaped an emergency landing in their 'homemade and experimental' helicopter unscathed to the amazement of RCMP who rescued them from a field. The 55-year-old pilot and passenger — his wife — emerged from the small, white ...
UPDATED: Helicopter makes emergency landing in Langley field (with video)Langley Times
Two people in good condition after helicopter crash in Langley640 Toronto News
Helicopter flips on side in emergency landing in Langley SaturdayLangley Advance

all 4 news articles »
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 3:35 pm

Ted Cruz says decision to endorse Donald Trump was 'agonizing' - Chicago Tribune


Chicago Tribune

Ted Cruz says decision to endorse Donald Trump was 'agonizing'
Chicago Tribune
Evan Smith, co-founder and CEO of the Texas Tribune, left, goes one on one with Sen. Ted Cruz as part of the Keynote North at the Texas Tribune Festival in Hogg Memorial Auditorium on the University of Texas campus Sept. 24, 2016. Evan Smith ...
A day after endorsement, Cruz refuses to say Trump is fit for the presidencyFort Worth Star Telegram
New poll: GOP voters declare fealty to Trump as partisanship intensifiesStars and Stripes
Ted Cruz's flip-flop on supporting Donald Trump alienated his conservative supportersNational Post
CNN -CBC.ca -RenewAmerica -CTV News
all 1,139 news articles »
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 3:24 pm

Jordan writer in blasphemy case Nahid Hattar killed

A Jordanian writer charged with offending Islam after sharing a satirical cartoon on his Facebook page is killed in the capital Amman.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 3:15 pm

Stolen vehicle crashes into another vehicle and a hydro pole in south London - CTV News


CTV News

Stolen vehicle crashes into another vehicle and a hydro pole in south London
CTV News
Two males are in custody following an incident in which a stolen vehicle collided with another vehicle and a hydro pole in south London. Police responded to the area of Southdale Road East and Dulaney Drive around 1:45 a.m. on Saturday, September 24th, ...
London Police Arrest Two Males Following Collision In City's South End640 Toronto News
Collision Involving Hydro Pole Sends One To HospitalBlackburnNews.com

all 3 news articles »
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 3:14 pm

US election primer: The presidential debates - CBC.ca


CBC.ca

US election primer: The presidential debates
CBC.ca
The first presidential debate of the 2016 U.S. election season kicks off Monday night. It's a one-on-one matchup between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump. The two candidates vying to follow President Barack ...
Mike Pence says Gennifer Flowers won't be coming to Monday's presidential debateGlobalnews.ca
Trump-Clinton debate showdown: a previewToronto Star
In the primary debates, Trump showed what he'll bring to battle with ClintonUSA TODAY
The Globe and Mail -NPR -CNN -Politico
all 5,738 news articles »
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 3:05 pm

Punjab polls 2017: Will form new party early October, sacked AAP convener Sucha Singh tells Firstpost - Firstpost


Firstpost

Punjab polls 2017: Will form new party early October, sacked AAP convener Sucha Singh tells Firstpost
Firstpost
Sucha Singh Chhotepur, who was sacked as Convenor of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in an inglorious manner after a sting operation, is all set to form a new political party. The unceremonious sacking has made him even more determined to set up a new political ...
Chhotepur says ready with own party, Navjot Sidhu 'welcome'Hindustan Times
Multiparty Contests In Assembly Politics Favor NoneAsian Tribune
Punjab: With no front in fray, Congress, AAP heave a sigh of reliefThe Indian Express
Chandigarh Tribune -CanIndia News -The Asian Age -South Asian Link
all 19 news articles »
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 3:00 pm

Writer who shared cartoon mocking ISIS killed at courthouse

A prominent Jordanian writer who shared a cartoon that outraged some Muslims was fatally shot in Amman on Sunday, state news agency Petra reported.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 2:00 pm

UN Security Council meets on Syria fighting as Aleppo air onslaught continues - Globalnews.ca


Globalnews.ca

UN Security Council meets on Syria fighting as Aleppo air onslaught continues
Globalnews.ca
WATCH: Video footage shot in rebel-held areas of Aleppo shows damaged buildings and desperate residents following air strikes on the area. Nathan Frandino reports. What is this? Sponsored content is written by Global News' editorial staff without any ...
Nearly 2 million without running water in Aleppo after airstrikesToronto Star
Syrian rebels reverse gov't gains in Aleppo stalemateCP24 Toronto's Breaking News
How the Pentagon Sank the US-Russia Deal in Syria – and the CeasefireCenter for Research on Globalization
TheChronicleHerald.ca -The Guardian -New York Times -Al-Arabiya
all 5,444 news articles »
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 12:15 pm

New report confirms grim outlook for elephants

Elephant populations in Africa have declined by around 111,000 over the past ten years according to a new study presented at the Cites meeting in South Africa.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 11:55 am

India to ratify Paris climate deal

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India's prime minister said Sunday that his country will ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change early next month.

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Posted: September 25, 2016, 11:39 am

Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar killed outside court before trial over cartoon

JORDAN-WRITER/SHOOTING

Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar was fatally shot Sunday outside the court in Amman where he was due to stand trial, accused to contempt of religion after sharing on social media a cartoon caricature that was seen as insulting Islam.

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Posted: September 25, 2016, 10:39 am

Suspect in mall shooting north of Seattle 'zombie-like' when arrested - CBC.ca


CBC.ca

Suspect in mall shooting north of Seattle 'zombie-like' when arrested
CBC.ca
The 20-year-old suspect in the deadly Washington state mall shooting said nothing and appeared "zombie-like" when he was arrested by authorities nearly 24 hours into an intense manhunt, authorities said. Island County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Hawley said he ...
Washington mall shooting: Police arrest 20-year-old suspectCNN
Suspect arrested in Washington State mall shootingCTV News
After day-long manhunt, police arrest 20-year-old in Washington state mall killingsWashington Post
New York Times -Daily Mail -USA TODAY -International Business Times
all 1,350 news articles »
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 9:51 am

Suspect in Seattle-area mall shooting 'zombie-like' when arrested

Arcan Cetin

Police in Washington state have arrested a 20-year-old man following a shooting at a department store on Friday that left five people dead.

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Posted: September 25, 2016, 9:47 am

China's colossal radio telescope begins testing

The world's largest radio telescope has received its first signals from space and is now entering an intensive testing phase.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 9:41 am

Rock'n'roll dreams

Forty years on from their first jam in a Dublin kitchen, friends of U2 tell how the band rose to the top of the rock hierarchy.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 9:38 am

Boko Haram's Shekau says he is 'in good health' following claim of his death

The disputed leader of Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram releases a video denying claims he had been killed or badly wounded in air strike.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 9:31 am

'I keep hoping to see them': Tamma Joyce, 19, separated from family fleeing South Sudan bloodshed

Tamma Joyce

Tamma Joyce, 19, lost contact with her parents when she escaped South Sudan. Thousands continue to flee the troubled country as conflict rages on despite a ceasefire declared in July.

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Posted: September 25, 2016, 9:00 am

Trump's jabs, Clinton's upraised palms could reveal who has the upper hand in debates

Trump Clinton composite

It's not what you say; it's how you say it. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would be well advised to remember that adage when taking the stage at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Monday night for the first U.S. presidential debate. We break down what their gestures tell us about the two candidates.

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Posted: September 25, 2016, 9:00 am

Bush asks Obama for selfie help

When former President George W Bush was asked to take a selfie with a group of people at the opening of the African-American museum in Washington, he had to ask for help.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 8:48 am

Bill Nunn, actor in Spike Lee and Spider Man films, dies

US actor Bill Nunn, who featured in Spider Man and films by the director Spike Lee, dies aged 63.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 8:30 am

Going inside Jerusalem's underground city of the dead

In Jerusalem's largest cemetery the deceased have a need that the living cannot fulfill: more space.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 8:01 am

Amateur sleuth shows up MH370 investigators

BLAINE Gibson is the first person searching for missing plane MH370 to find any trace of it, but he’s not part of the official investigation.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 7:31 am

No royal high five for PM Trudeau

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive in Canada for their first royal tour with both of their children.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 6:14 am

Washington State gun attack suspect in custody

A suspect sought over a deadly gun attack in Washington state has been arrested and named as Arcan Cetin, 20, from Turkey.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 5:11 am

Trump invites ‘love rival’ to debate

WHEN Hillary Clinton takes the podium at the first presidential debate, she could be staring down an old romantic rival sitting in the front row.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 5:03 am

Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith at museum opening

Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith delivered a speech at the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 4:36 am

Suspect arrested over mall killings

POLICE have arrested the suspected gunman who opened fire with a rifle in a shopping mall in Washington State, killing five people.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 4:35 am

Inside America’s crazy gun culture

THESE men want peace but they have an extensive arsenal to “protect” themselves, while police leave fingerprints on every car they stop — in case they are shot.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 2:00 am

Charlotte shooting video released

BOWING to public pressure, police have released a video of what they say happened in the moments leading up to the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 1:37 am

San Fran standoff ends peacefully

A STANDOFF between a gunman and police in San Francisco that lasted for six hours has ended, after the man was arrested.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 1:29 am

The Cambridges in Canada

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting Canada with their two young children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 1:26 am

Ai Weiwei: Verdict exposes the unfairness of China's legal system

Xia Lin and I met in 2010.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 1:00 am

Chateau boot camp

France is planning a string rehabilitation centres to combat extremism. But the first to open is already proving controversial.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 12:50 am

Police release bodycam footage of Keith Scott shooting

Police in Charlotte, North Carolina, release officer bodycam and dashcam footage of a controversial shooting of a black man last week.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 12:46 am

Obama’s secret email bombshell

PRESIDENT Obama used a fake name to communicate with Hillary Clinton on her private email server, FBI documents reveal.
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Posted: September 25, 2016, 12:45 am

Grand Canyon in blue

President Barack Obama has created the first underwater national monument off the US east coast, protecting a vast ecosystem of canyons and extinct volcanoes. It is home to thousands of rare species, but is also a source of controversy.
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Posted: September 24, 2016, 11:38 pm

Angry quilter

Nedra Bonds explains what motivated her to turn the family tradition of quilting into a platform for political protest.
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Posted: September 24, 2016, 11:28 pm

Explosion rocks downtown Budapest

HUNGARY’S disaster management agency says that two people have been injured in an explosion at a ground-floor shop in downtown Budapest.
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Posted: September 24, 2016, 11:25 pm

Prize catch

The BBC's James Badcock examines how activists doggedly pursued their country's former economy minister and IMF chief, Rodrigo Rato, over corruption claims.
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Posted: September 24, 2016, 11:20 pm

Foolish prince

Ethiopian prince Lij Iyasu was deposed after fears he had converted to Islam. But it also put an end to the threat of Ethiopia entering into World War One, writes Martin Plaut.
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Posted: September 24, 2016, 11:15 pm

Liverpool calling

When 15-year-old Waheed Arian arrived in the UK from 1990s Afghanistan, he was told he would probably become a taxi driver. Some years later, he started a degree at the University of Cambridge and has now set up a scheme where British doctors advise medics in Kabul via Skype.
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Posted: September 24, 2016, 11:06 pm

Driver-less trucks will be trialed in the UK as platooning

Driver-less trucks will be trialed in the UK as platooning

Driver-less trucks will be trialed in the UK as platooning

The government is expected to confirm that so called, ‘driverless’ trucks will be trialed in the UK.  Generally met with shock and condemnation, what is actually being proposed?

The correct term for the proposed system to be trialled is not ‘driverless trucks’, but ‘platooning’. This is where a series of vehicles use technology to enable drivers to move more closely to each other in convoy than would be safe if he or she were not using them. The UK government has agreed to a limited trial of platooning on a stretch of the M6 in Cumbria, a portion of UK motorway that is relatively quiet with larger sections between junctions.

There is clearly plenty of concern from road safety campaigners and industry bodies concerned for the long term future of lorry driver jobs.

The RAC’s chief engineer, David Bizley said, “One of the main questions is really whether lorry platoons are appropriate for our motorway network, which is why the choice of the M6 in Cumbria for the trials is a good one because the junctions are few and far between and the traffic density is low compared with most stretches of motorway. So while this is a potentially welcome extension to the driverless technology we are seeing trialled in cars, it’s not clear yet whether it is something that would work in practice on the UK’s motorway network.”

Platooning

Platooning is nothing new – research into these systems started back in 2009 with EU funding – with the SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project. The project tested combinations of cars, coaches and trucks and resulted in some significant fuel savings across the board between ten and twenty percent.

The first public road test took place back in 2012 in Spain involving three cars and a truck with a gap of 18 feet between each vehicle at a speed of 85 km/h, covering some 200 kilometres.

Since this time, platooning has been trialled in Sweden, Germany and in the United States. Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett commented: “At the outset, it is important to note that these trucks will not be ‘driverless’. Each cab will be manned. As far as we are concerned, this is an issue where the devil lies in the detail.”

Fuel Saving not Driver Saving

There has been plenty of scaremongering in the press that this will be the end of the long-distance lorry driver as we know it.   The platooning system very much needs the driver to be in control, he needs to be able to join and exit the system to continue the journey and deliver the load.  Platooning saves Fuel

The most likely outcome of the test is a significant improvement in fuel consumption or not only vehicles following in the platoon, but also of the lead vehicle.  Additionally, traffic flow should be smoother when sufficient numbers of vehicles are included.

Tests by Scania have shown that convoy driving using truck “platoons” can reduce fuel consumption by up to 12%.  This could mean a fuel saving per vehicle of some 4,000 litres annually.  This would be able to power a typical family car some 35,000 miles.

“On the test track we’ve driven with a distance of about 10 metres between the vehicles, and we were able to achieve a 12% fuel saving for the trailing vehicle,” says Magnus Adolfson, Scania’s Manager for Intelligent Transport Systems. “If you want to get as close as a couple of metres, then you need several automatic systems that also take control of the steering from the driver during the time that the vehicle is in the truck platoon. That’s also something we’re focusing our research on.”

How Does it Work?

The platooning system uses a combination of existing technologies that have been tweaked to make the system as safe and effective as possible.

Sophisticated Cruise Control

Effectively, the system uses an improved ‘advanced adaptive cruise control’ (ACC), a system that we have enjoyed using on cars for many years now.  Rather than setting a desired speed, the driver selects a desired distance from the vehicle in front which is maintained through the use of radar and cameras.

Driver Aids – Autonomous Braking

Legislation that came into force as recently as November 2015 compels all new trucks over 8 tonnes GVW to be fitted with ‘Autonomous Emergency Braking’ systems – AEB for short.  This means that the driver is taken out of the equation if an accident is likely.

These systems have been fitted to trucks (as an option) for a number of years.  They have clearly proven themselves so effective in stopping the vehicle that they have made their way into legislation.

So we have been able to automatically keep our distance from the moving truck in front and automatically come to an emergency stop for some years.  So what’s new?

Steering by Wire

Volvo Truck (well) controlled by a small hamster

Truck steering systems have become more sophisticated with steering columns becoming a thing of the past with ‘drive by wire’ control. These systems have been wonderfully demonstrated by Volvo Trucks in a series of YouTube videos – one involving a hamster steering a truck by running around a wheel attached to the steering wheel and the second showing a small girl controlling a 32 tonne truck using a remote controller.

Volvo (badly) controlled remotely by 4-year old

Technology that steers trucks using electrical inputs is therefore mainstream and used on our roads every day.

Making it Work

Even if platooning can be made to work technically – safely and reliably – it is of no use unless a system is developed to ‘book a vehicle’ into the convoy.  Simply stumbling across a platoon and tagging along cannot be an option. RHA’s Richard Burnett agrees, “In addition to the concerns of the motorist, is platooning practical for the haulier? Does it make operational sense?” The truck makers are already looking at this. To develop a system to coordinate platoons, Sweden’s Scania is focusing on its COMPANION joint research project with KTH Royal Institute of Technology. The next stage of development involves coordinating truck convoys, thereby making the whole logistics system more efficient. Scania’s researchers are designing a system that allows transport managers to input the routes their vehicles will take, with the system then finding joint routes with other operators who can ‘platoon up’.

An additional issue is related to the length of these platoons and how it might affect other road users.  The maximum length of a tractor unit and trailer combination is currently 16.5 metres in the UK.  Add an extra ten metre gap between a platoon of ten vehicles and you get something that is more than a quarter of a kilometre long.  Would the average UK motorist be able to contend with this moving obstruction when turning off a motorway junction? We have all seen most drivers leaving it to the last minute to turn off after accelerating past slower traffic.  This may therefore lead to platooning in the centre lane or lane three.  Not a popular alternative with car drivers.

UK Leading The Way?

The Department for Transport claims that it would like the UK to ‘lead the way’ in testing platoons.  It is difficult to see this happening when all the manufacturers are based in Sweden, (Volvo, Scania), Germany, (Daimler, MAN), Italy, (Iveco) and France (Renault). However, eight new projects have recently been awarded £20 million in funding from the UK Government to research and develop enhanced communication between vehicles and roadside infrastructure or urban information systems, including new ‘talking car technologies’. Some of this has been awarded to a consortium looking at tyre pressures and safety concerns – an area ignored in the projects to date.

Is the UK a suitable test bed? Our road network is amongst the world’s most congested with the greatest number of junctions.  It is more likely that the UK would be used in the final instance as a ‘stress test’ rather than involved in the fundamental testing process.  It is unlikely that the R&D departments will be upping sticks from Sweden and Germany to spend time in Cumbria.

 

The UK has the reputation in Europe for being ‘Tail-End Charlie’ in accepting and promoting environmental improvements in commercial vehicle technology.  Germany and others were offering significant financial incentives for truck operators to become early adopters of Euro 6 technologies (and the emissions standards that came before them), whilst the UK government offered a few hundred pounds incentive to invest in new technology, the cost of which ran into the tens of thousands.

Consider also, the levels of support from the relevant governments.  Historically, the UK government has been less than supportive of the UK road haulage industry and we see no reason why this approach should suddenly change.  The level of support from the Netherlands is already far greater than the UK – they have also authorised the testing of platooning on their roads and are actively promoting the system with impressive glossy brochures.

During its Presidency of the European Union in 2016, the Netherlands will put together a European Truck Platooning Challenge. This will involve various brands of automated trucks driving in platoons. The Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, Mrs. drs. M.H. Schultz van Haegen said, “The Netherlands now offers an international testing ground for innovative mobility. Applications for cars and trucks will be warmly welcomed.”

Time will tell if the UK truly gets behind this initiative or is simply paying lip service to a high-tech scheme that is bound to grab headlines.

What Next?

Daimler already have a truck that can actually drive itself.  Sven Ennerst, Head of Truck Product Engineering at Daimler is the man behind the Future Truck 2025 Mercedes-Benz program which takes platooning one step further.

 

In May last year, their Highway Pilot autonomous truck control system won approval for trials on public highways in a (Daimler) Freightliner truck in the US state of Nevada. Then in October 2015, the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg approved trials of Mercedes-Benz trucks with the Highway Pilot system on its autobahns.

Ennerst says, “We expect a change in the organisation of the freight forwarding industry. The driver will take over many of the traffic planner’s functions. He will become more of a transport manager than a driver, from our point of view.” “One thing is for sure – the Highway Pilot system is steering the vehicle by itself. It builds a picture around the truck, looking up to 250 metres ahead, so basically it can react and drive by itself.”

Ennerst is equally concerned about the fuel efficiency of the trucks, “We are fighting like hell for every tenth of one per cent in truck efficiency gains at present,” he says. “We expect a fuel economy improvement of up to five per cent with trucks like this, as a result of less acceleration and braking and less waiting in traffic.”

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