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Imagine arriving for your HGV training in Shropshire or Warwickshire, only to be placed in a vehicle that seemingly drives itself. Such a scenario may not be inconceivable if Mercedes-Benz has its way. The German automotive manufacturer recently revealed some of its plans for the future by way of a self-driving articulated lorry known as Future Truck 2025.

Future Truck 2025 is a concept vehicle intended to show the viability of semi-automated driving for long-haul transport. The truck essentially drives itself by way of a series of cameras, sensors and computer equipment the company has dubbed ‘Highway Pilot’. This system allows an HGV driver to take a completely ‘hands-off’ approach during long-haul trips over the road.

Mercedes-Benz is quick to point out that the vehicle is not completely autonomous. In other words, a human driver is still necessary to perform certain tasks and, if necessary, take control of the vehicle in an emergency. Having said that, the things Future Truck 2025 is capable of are rather impressive.

The vehicle was recently tested on a closed portion of the German autobahn. Future Truck was able to travel the full distance of the 45-minute test safely, with Highway Pilot keeping it nicely in the centre of its chosen lane. Highway Pilot is capable of maintaining speed at safe distances, braking, avoiding potential hazards and so on. However, it does have its limits as well. The system is currently unable to change lanes for the purpose of overtaking slower traffic. In a real-world setting, the driver would have to override Highway Pilot in order to complete the task manually.

Future Truck 2025 gives us a good glimpse of what long haul HGV driving may be in the future. It is hard to imagine a day when HGVs will be completely automated, but at least the idea of semi-automation could very easily become reality within the next decade.

Training Today

While we await a future that includes semi-automated commercial driving, it is still the responsibility of the haulage and transport industries to only put properly trained drivers on the road. And that’s where the HGV Training Centre comes into play. We provide HGV training in Shropshire, Warwickshire and all across the UK at more than 45 facilities. Our driver training programmes prepare you or your company drivers to be the safest and most productive on the road.

The HGV Training Centre prides itself on high success rates based in our personal approach. This approach is one that gives each student as much help as he or she needs throughout the process of studying, passing his or her tests, and earning their license. We stand beside the student every step of the way – from preparing for the theory test to accompanying him or her when they take their practical skills test.

If you have been thinking of earning an HGV licence to drive commercially, the HGV Training Centre can help make it happen. New classes are forming all the time; contact us for more details today.

Sources:

BT.com – http://home.bt.com/lifestyle/motoring/motoringnews/mercedes-concept-truck-could-be-future-of-longdistance-driving-11363917790277

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