A driverless delivery lorry is being used alongside normal traffic on public roads in Sweden.

The large lorry, called a T-Pod, weighs 26 tonnes fully laden and will move goods between buildings on an industrial estate.

The vehicle is not entirely autonomous, as a remote operator will oversee it from a control room while it works.

Using the semi-autonomous truck to make deliveries was a “milestone”, said Robert Falck, of its creator, Einride.

Testing times

Swedish transport regulators have imposed strict controls on the T-Pod’s top speed and the distance it can travel.

The lorry is limited to 5km/h (3mph) while mixing with human-driven traffic and can make trips between only two locations, on the industrial estate.

Advanced communications systems have been placed along the route the lorry will take, so its remote human operator will never lose contact.

The truck will transport goods for German logistics and delivery company DB Schenker.

Einride said it was also talking to Lidl, Swedish delivery company Svenska Retursystem and other retailers about using its lorries.

Fully driverless vehicles, including cars and lorries, are being widely tested and trialled around the world.

Most involve specialised vehicles on campuses or in locations such as airports.

Many nations, including the UK, currently allow them to mix with traffic only if they have a human onboard to take control in the event of problems.

Google subsidiary Waymo launched a commercial driverless ride-hailing service in Arizona though initially drivers will be in the vehicles as they transport passengers.

California has also issued Waymo a permit to allow driverless cars on public roads.

View the full article on; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-48295232

A lorry driver has blasted police after being fined for stopping to help at a crash scene.

John MacKenzie’s Good Samaritan act ended with a threat of prosecution if he didn’t pay a £50 fixed penalty.

The father of three from Inverness, who has made a complaint to Police Scotland, said: “I’ve paid the price for doing a good deed.”

John, 58, swerved on to the roadside when he came round a sharp bend in the Highlands and was confronted with a two-vehicle smash.

He sprung from his cab to make sure everyone was OK before clearing debris from the road and warning traffic to slow down.

But his good deed didn’t go down well with a police officer, who turned up soon after.

John found himself on the receiving end of a fixed penalty because his vehicle was deemed to be causing an obstruction.

He’d pulled into the side of the road and his lorry hadsunk into the embankment because of its heavy load. He needed a tow to get out.

John has since stumped up the £50 to avoid being taken to court but is hoping the punishment may be wiped.

The row has been rumbling on for almost three months but police insist John’s complaint is still under investigation.

John was driving for Tain haulage firm Bannerman on the A97 Skye to Invergarry road in February.

He said: “About two miles from Invergarry, I came round a sharp bend and there was an accident.

John MacKenzie in his lorry before police arrived at the crash scene (Image: UGC MSN)

“There was a pick-up in the middle of the road, so I swung to the nearside and went on to the bank to avoid a collision.

“I got stuck there, so I got out to make sure everybody was alright.

“The other car was over the bank at the other side. I went back to my lorry and got a brush and cleared the debris off
the road.

“I got the traffic flowing. An ambulance came and, 15 minutes later, a police officer appeared and asked about my lorry. I said it was fine and suggested he’d be better dealing with the accident.

“He turned and said, ‘You’ll be going to court for obstruction’.

“I told him to crack on but he came back and told me that when I went to court, I’d get three penalty points and a £100 fine.”

John started taking photos of the scene and was asked by the officer what he was doing.

He said: “I said I was collecting evidence for court because I didn’t believe I was causing an obstruction.

“He went away and then came back over and said, ‘I’ve had a change of heart’.

“I asked what he meant and he said he was going to give me a fixed penalty of £50.”

When John received it, he went to the police station at Fort William to complain and later gave a statement.

He decided to pay the fine but had been hoping the police might have rescinded the fine.

Police confirmed a complaint had been made and said: “The outcome will be communicated to the complainer.’

Drivers were forced to wait for up to 20 minutes as he tried to sort it out.

A lorry driver had a journey to forget as he attempted to deliver construction equipment in Lincoln.

The driver turned onto Brayford Wharf East and onto Brayford Street before finding himself in a spot of bother as he tried to turn the vehicle around.

It took the driver multiple attempts and multiple failures before he eventually managed to reverse into the NCP car park

The lorry appeared to narrowly avoid colliding with a lamppost, wooden fencing near the car park and other vehicles.

As people looked on, the driver could be seen reversing into the NCP car park near the Brayford in a number of attempts to turn his vehicle around, before construction workers from the bridge came to his aid.

One passer-by said: “He made a right mess of it.

“I was stuck there for about 20 minutes as I tried to get into work.

A lorry struggles to turn round near the Brayford. (Image: Lincolnshire Echo)

“I don’t know whether he was delivering things for the new bridge or whether he was using the road as a through road.

“He mustn’t have been in Lincoln for a while if that’s the case as the road has been closed for a number of months.”

The National Infrastructure Commission has called for the sale of new diesel HGV lorries to be banned by 2040 to help the freight sector become carbon free.

In a report published today (17 April), the commission said the development of battery-powered HGVs is already “well advanced” and the move would also help ease worsening congestion around the country.

In particular, the report calls on ministers to set out within the next two years how they plan to ban all sales of petrol and diesel HGVs by 2040 and begin preparing the nation’s infrastructure for the transition to hydrogen and battery-powered vehicles.

It also calls on Ofgem to work with the freight industry to enable charging at depots by 2025.

“Today’s report says we need to set out bold plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel HGVs, bring emissions from freight and both road and rail to zero, and give the industry greater visibility in Whitehall and town halls,” said commission chair, Sir John Armitt.

The report also calls for the creation of a new freight leadership council, which would bring together representatives from across the transport sector and parts of the supply chain.

In addition, it recommends the government publish a full strategy by the end of 2021 for eliminating carbon emissions from rail freight by 2050.

“Unless the government commits now to working with the industry, the impact of freight on congestion and carbon emissions will only increase, damaging the quality of life of communities up and down the country,” added commissioner, Andy Green.

“Freight can no longer be a mere afterthought, but must be factored into long term transport plans, with a coordinated approach across government departments to ensure it doesn’t slip through the cracks.”

“That’s why we’re recommending city authorities should also incorporate freight as part of their long-term infrastructure strategies, alongside transport, jobs and new homes.”

Yesterday, a 350W – ready fast charging station was opened in Sunderland by Amsterdam-based charging company Fastned.

The West Wear Street station is designed, built and operated by Fastned and is owned by the North East Joint Transport Committee and funded through the Go Ultra Low Cities Grant and the European Regional Development Fund.

A lorry shed its load of dead birds on the M62 in West Yorkshire, causing morning rush-hour traffic delays.

Police said the birds – chickens and turkeys – were strewn across the motorway at Junction 27 at Gildersome.

They were on the westbound entry slip road and the the main carriageway, Highways England (HE) said.

HE staff and contractors worked to clear the carcasses from the road. It was swept clean by about 11:40 BST, the agency said.

view the full article at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-48123285


Increases in parking charges across Powys are on the way to help the county council save £12m to balance its books.

Parking for up to one hour in a long-stay car park will cost £1, up from 70p, while for two hours it goes up by more than half from £1.30 to £2.

The council says it will peg the cost of an annual permit at £370, saying it offers regular users a 60% discount on the pay-and-display prices.

The extra cash raised will also help fund free parking for blue badge users.

The charge for parking a car for more than four hours is to rise from £3.20 to £4 – a 25% increase – while lorry drivers face a rise of more than 50% from £5.30 to £8.

Vehicles that take up two spaces will be expected to pay double the price, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Short-stay car parks in Powys will still charge £1 for up to an hour, but the charge for up to two hours will rise from £1.50 to £2.

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A report that laid out the options said the price of annual permits would be frozen to encourage regular users.

“Predominantly these will be people who work in a town and travel by car,” it said.

“The annual cost of £370, when compared to the daily charge, will be beneficial to someone who on average parks two days per week in a pay-and-display car park.”

Powys County Council has set a £200,000 savings target for the service, but predicts the new charges will raise an extra £280,000.

The authority said any extra cash would be used to offset the £100,000 cost of free parking for people with disabilities entitled to a blue badge

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