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Channel 4 has commissioned a groundbreaking feature-length documentary, produced by Blink Films, with the working title Pile-Up, which will recreate a motorway pile-up, to examine what happens to the multiple vehicles and their occupants second-by-second.

This new documentary for Channel 4 is intentionally triggering, filming and scientifically analysing a multi-vehicle motorway pile-up involving lorries, vans, and different types and sizes of cars.

Using advanced remote control driving technology and dozens of specialist cameras and mannequins. The production team and experts from Cranfield University Advanced Vehicle Engineering Centre will work with everyday vehicles and everyday drivers to create a full-scale, high-speed pile-up, to then investigate it in forensic detail.

The experiment will attempt to reveal the answers to questions such as what actually happens second-by-second in a real-life motorway pile-up; how different drivers actually behave in this situation; how successful safety and next generation automated systems are at protecting drivers; and what types of vehicles protect drivers best.

Dan Chambers, executive producer, said: “Pile-Up will be the largest road traffic experiment ever staged anywhere in the world. Not only will it be an incredible television event, more importantly it provides a once-in-a-lifetime chance to unravel the science of deadly motorway crashes.”

Danny Horan, Head of Factual at Channel 4, says: “This gripping and dramatic television event is a world first – a meticulously planned and staged experiment that will use the most innovative technology available to examine what really happens in a multi vehicle pile-up. This spectacular TV documentary will give us a detailed breakdown of what happens in those seconds before and after a collision, allowing Channel 4 viewers a unique perspective and never-before-seen detail.”

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