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Fusion Processing has announced that it is set to take part in the HelmUK Advanced Platooning Trial – which it says will be “the first real-world operational trial of platooning vehicles on UK roads”.

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, the centre for innovation in transport and mobility; DAF Trucks, the UK market leader of HGV sales; and DHL.

In a statement issued on Thursday (25 July), Fusion Processing said that a bespoke version of its CAVstar system will be used as part of the trial, which will take place later this year.

According to Fusion Processing, the technology will “enable three DAF Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) to travel safely in close proximity, at speed, with the lead driver controlling the speed, acceleration and breaking of the whole ‘platoon’”.

CAVstar optical and radar sensors will gather vital data on how other drivers behave around the platooning trucks. This data, which will be analysed by TRL, will provide critical information on safety matters and how other drivers respond to trucks using this new technology.

The company added: “Use of platooning has the potential to greatly increase fuel efficiency, reduce carbon emissions for trucks and improve safety.”

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.”

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 completion of a programme of driving simulations, driver training and test track trials over the coming months.