Dropping Science: Driverless "Road Trains"
We all dream of a future where we can drive to work without having to actually touch the steering wheel of our car (ok we don’t all dream of that but a selection of nerdy engineers who eat too much cheese before bed do) and now that future has moved a step closer.
The SARTRE project (that’s Safe Road Trains for the Environment to you and me) has been running since 2009 and aims to create a system whereby cars can tag onto the back of a “road train” and be guided at high speeds over long stretches of motorway. The project had its first test on a public highway recently with the aim of seeing if human beings would completely freak out if placed in a high speed convoy with no apparent means of control. The results seem to suggest that, yes they do, but they chill out again pretty quickly.
Ah, glorious science!