We use cookies to help improve your online experience. If you continue to use our website, we will assume that you’re happy with this.
Learn more about cookies and how to change your settings in our Privacy and cookies policy.

Connected autonomous vehicles HGVs

Connected autonomous vehicles in freight transportation

With CAV becoming mainstream, it’s important to understand the role of technology in the freight transportation industry, especially in handling the supply chain of dangerous goods via road infrastructure.

  • Service 1

University of Warwick

  • Service 1

Connected autonomous vehicle in infrastructure environment [CAVIE]

  • Service 1


  • Service 1

October 2017 - October 2021

Client needs

Improve road tunnel safety

monitoring and navigating hazardous goods in a secure manner via tunnels

Business opportunities

potential to develop or upgrade tunnel and road infrastructure with CAV technologies including CAV communication service providers to freight industry

Improve supply chain

improve logistics of freight transportation via managed communications

Reduce costs

associated to drayage and carriage of empty containers

Research focus

The initial focus is to analyse the impact of CAV enabled DGVs on road tunnel transport. Further research will look in to the challenges for tunnel infrastructure with the adaptation of CAV technologies and how it should be designed to better facilitate the communication with another CAV enabled DGV. Business cases will be investigated within the smart road infrastructure development with a view to help reduce the risks and safety measures associated with the carriage of hazardous goods.

The transportation of dangerous goods is a concerning factor for road users and the environment. Based on past accidents involving dangerous goods and tunnels, the regulations on their carriage have become more stringent which has led to increased congestion around the tunnels to check and allow DGV traffic. To tackle the problem of congestion and traffic stagnation, it is important to understand the underlying problem regarding the logistics of DGVs. With this study, we aim to analyse the flow of DGVs and associated risks for the tunnel infrastructure in the UK. As CAVs are set to become mainstream, the study will investigate the potential of CAVs and the intelligent road infrastructure to optimise the safe and secure transportation of dangerous goods. Human driving has been identified as a major cause of road related incidents, responsible for 95% of total road accidents due to lack of observation, decision making and response. With CAV technologies, we aim to also reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation industry which now accounts for 24% of CO2 emissions in 2015 globally, according to the World Health Organisation.

Costain has been working with leading universities and government initiated CAV projects such as the A2M2 connected vehicle technology contract and Midlands Future Mobility to test and equip autonomous vehicles on the UK’s road infrastructure. With investment in CAV technologies, we aim to deliver safer roads, reduce road fatalities, decrease carbon emissions, ease congestion, improve parking demand and reduce human driving hours and increase socio-economic productivity.

Through our research, we predict:

  • The reduction of toll or tunnel charges
  • Eased congestion through the potential elimination of check and allow scenarios for DGVs
  • A better coordinated logistics movement of goods which will reduce empty carriages
  • Improved fuel efficiency for dynamic platooning.

Contact and social

Tim Embley

Knowledge and innovation manager
01628 842444
[email protected]