Watch: The UK is enlisting the help of a self-driving truck to speed up highway construction
- This 25 tonne dumper truck can carry a 40 tonne load and can drive itself.
- It forms part of a R2.8 million project to see if self-driving trucks can help speed up the construction of highways in the UK.
- The truck is programmed remotely to follow a pre-determined route and has the capability to detect and avoid obstacles, other vehicles and the like, along the route as it drives.
- For more stories go to Business Insider South Africa.
The United Kingdom (UK) is enlisting the help of self-driving trucks to speed up the construction of its highways.
This 25 tonne dumper truck can carry a 40 tonne load and can drive itself. This is thanks to being fitted with gadgets originally developed for autonomous trucks in Australian mines, including a laser light unit to spot objects in its way.
Self-driving dump trucks have the potential to work around the clock and could help reduce the length of time roadworks are on the ground. By being autonomous they reduce the risk of road workers being involved in incidents on site.
It forms part of a £150,000 (R2,8 million) concept project being tested on the Highways England improvement of the A14 highway, being built between Cambridge and Huntingdon, said the government-owned company improving England's motorways and major roads in a press release.
The truck is programmed remotely to follow a pre-determined route and has the capability to detect and avoid obstacles, other vehicles and the like, along the route as it drives.
“Road construction has changed massively over the years and the testing of trucks such as these promises to allow us to work efficiently, speeding up roadworks, giving more protection to road workers, and moving jobs to other skilled areas,” said Julian Lamb, Deputy Project Director Highways England for the A14.
The trucks, which belong to UK based earthworks contractor company CA Blackwell, could go a long way to making key decisions about autonomy on UK construction sites.
Highways England expect it to be another two or three years before autonomous dump trucks are in full operation.
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