Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that technology that links vehicles into "road trains" that can travel as a semi-autonomous convoy has undergone its first real world tests with trials held on Volvo's test track in Sweden slaving a single car to a truck to test the platooning system and researchers believe platoons of cars could be traveling on Europe's roads within a decade cutting fuel use, boosting safety and may even reducing congestion. SARTRE researchers say that around 80% of accidents on the road are due to human error so using professional lead drivers to take the strain on long journeys could, they say, see road accidents fall. They also predict fuel efficiency could improve by as much as 20% if "vehicle platooning" takes off, with obvious benefits for the environment. A video of the trial shows the test car traveling behind a truck and then handing over control to that leading vehicle with commands to steer, speed up and slow down all coming from the driver of the lead vehicle while the driver of the test car is seen taking his hands off the wheel, reading a newspaper and sipping coffee as the journey proceeds. "An automated system is likely to make it safer as it takes away driver error but it would have to be 100% reliable," says John Franklin "This kind of system would also require a complete change in motoring culture for drivers to hand over control,.""