The Anonymous Widower

Do We Want Platoons of Trucks?

I first read about this idea in the Sunday Times, but I have found a detailed article on the website. Here’s the lead paragraph.

Convoys of wireless-linked semi-autonomous vehicles could soon be hitting our roads, giving drivers a chance to put their feet up on the morning commute.

I don’t drive and I miss driving, like you miss the teenager next door, who thinks he’s the best drummer since Ringo, who has just left home.

The technology may well work, but it’s in the same category as driverless cars and unmanned level crossings. They’re all perfectly good and safe until something goes wrong. How many air accidents were never envisaged, when the aircraft was designed?

The thing though about this technology, is there is already a proven alternative in the UK. It’s called freight trains. The money would be better spent removing trucks from the roads, as far as possible. Obviously for long distances across countries like the US, Canada, Australia and Russia, it may well have a place.


August 17, 2014 - Posted by | Transport | , , , ,


  1. In Nottingham they have a cunning plan. They are hoping to ban lorries from the city centre roads and create delivery hubs on the perimeter, where goods and deliveries will be transferred (and consolidated) into smaller electric vehicles for the last leg of the journey. What a good idea, and similar in a way to the way that on small Greek Islands, often the last leg of delivery journey is made by hand cart or moped along the narrow streets/alleyways.

    I could see that with a bit of wit and clever planning that this could work well in London.

    Comment by Robin | November 10, 2015 | Reply

    • Network Rail are experimenting with bringing parcels trains into major stations like Euston in the middle of the night. There’s more about it here.

      The great advantage is that you don’t need much new infrastructure, as all you need is a platform on which you can drive the delivery vehicles.

      Comment by AnonW | November 10, 2015 | Reply

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