The £8.1m trial will see TRL lead a consortium of partners including DAF Trucks, Ricardo and DHL.
The project will collect information and evaluate HGV platooning under real-world conditions.
Trials will be tailored specifically to UK roads and will collate the evidence required to understand issues such as fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, safety, acceptance by drivers and other road users, implications for future infrastructure and the commercial case for adoption.
Transport minister Paul Maynard said: “We are investing in technology that will improve people’s lives. Advances such as lorry platooning could benefit businesses through cheaper fuel bills and other road users thanks to lower emissions and less congestion. But first we must make sure the technology is safe and works well on our roads, and that’s why we are investing in these trials.”
Rob Wallis, TRL’s chief executive, said: “TRL and its consortium of leading international partners, have the practical and technical knowledge gained from previous projects to understand what is required to put a connected vehicle platoon on to UK roads safely. The team are now taking that expertise and uniquely applying it within live traffic operations.”
The on-road trials will form part of regular DHL logistical operations. The trials will follow a programme of driving simulations, driver training and test track trials over the coming months.