The first self-driving lorries could be moving goods over some Dutch roads in five years time, according to Bastiaan Krosse, of the TNO research institute.
The organisation is working towards trials of a system with the DAF truck manufacturing company plus transport and logistics sector organisation TLN, the Volkskrant reported on Monday.
The project involves two lorries working in tandem. The first lorry has a driver and the second lorry is driverless, but does exactly what the first lorry does, the paper said.
Krosse hopes the first tests will take place next year. Similar experiments involving family cars are under way in Eindhoven.
Transport minister Melanie Schultz has welcomed the programme. She told parliament this summer that the Netherlands should seize the opportunity to develop international expertise in self-driving cars.
Worldwide there have been several successful experiments with self-driving lorries and cars, the Volkskrant said. Even though robot drivers are more alert, drive more efficiently and keep to the traffic rules, by law cars must always be driven by a human being.
Transport ministry officials are currently looking at what changes are necessary in the law to allow self-driving cars on the Dutch roads, the Volkskrant said.
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