Collaboration is better than driverless vehicles

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Driverless vehicles have received a cautious welcome from Wincanton
Driverless vehicles have received a cautious welcome from Wincanton

Related tags: Supply chain management

The government’s planned trial of driverless vehicles as a way of reducing carbon emissions has been welcomed by third-party logistics firm Wincanton.

However, Wincanton’s business transformation director Chris Fenton has claimed that greater collaboration between operators to reduce ‘empty running’ vehicles would help to deliver carbon reductions much sooner.

“Through developing the skills of our people and working collaboratively with our customers, we are innovating how we approach supply chain management,”​ said Fenton.

‘Significant fuel savings’

“Driverless vehicles travelling in a platoon, metres apart, will deliver significant fuel savings, helping the UK achieve a more sustainable future. However, to fill up to 10 trucks travelling in the same direction, businesses will need to collaborate.”

Fenton suggested that closer collaboration would help to reduce instances of empty running to near zero and would have huge environmental benefits immediately – far sooner than driverless vehicles.

“The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight claims this could save £160M in fuel and prevent 426,000t of carbon emissions from being released, equivalent to the amount generated by approximately 70,000 cars a year,”​ he added.

“It's now time to broaden this collaborative approach across the business community, which potentially means competitors needing to work closer together.”

Related topics: Supply Chain, Services

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