DHL Supply Chain will insure itself while running autonomous trucks in the Transport Research Laboratory's (TRL) £8.1m trial of platooning trucks in the UK.

TRL will run the trial, which could see platooning HGVs on major UK roads by the end of next year, in conjunction with DHL and DAF Trucks.

DHL Supply Chain's MD of transport Phil Roe said that running the technology previously unseen on UK roads will not affect its insurance premiums because the operator is self-insured.

Roe added that the trucks taking part in the trial will be a mix of plain and DHL-branded vehicles, and that it will choose volunteer drivers from its trained pool.

He added that it was to be confirmed as to what and whose freight the platooning vehicles will be carrying during the trials.

Roe told MT: “We are delighted to be part of this ground-breaking trial. As the global logistics leader, we recently committed to reduce all logistics-related emissions to net zero by the year 2050. This is one of a number of emerging technologies which we are currently pursuing to become the market leader in green logistics and help our customers achieve their own climate protection targets.”

News of the future trial was met with a mixed response by industry when the government announced it this morning.