Connected cars may help Highways England spot potholes

The cars of the future will be connected

The cars of the future will be connected

Concepts set out in the report include embedded sensors in structures and roads providing live feeds of condition information, which Highways England is now developing.

The report will be used to inform the government's next road investment strategy which is due to start in 2020.

As well as the connected fibre optic network on Britain's motorways, Highways England will include the use of drones to alert the National Roads Telecommunications Service about congestion on the roads.

"Going forward, technology is likely to play an important role as Highways England seeks to reduce congestion and improve road surface quality", RAC roads policy spokesman Nicholas Lyes told Professional Engineering.

Most excitingly, though, Highways England's proposal says that the network will be able to anticipate potentially heavy traffic on roads and propose alternative routes to motorists, giving them real-time information. This reveals how fast the industry is moving and will help integrate autonomous vehicles onto the roads, said Russell Goodenough from Fujitsu UK & Ireland's transport sector.

"We are planning to spend more than ever before to upgrade England's motorways and major A roads from 2020 through to 2025".

This idea of self-driving cars was evolving and according to Russell Goodenough from Fujitsu UK and Ireland's transport sector, 41% of people would be uncomfortable being picked up by a driverless auto and less than two in ten would put their child in one unattended. The DfT launched a consultation into the report, which will run until 7 February.

Jim O'Sullivan, the body's chief executive, said drones could also be deployed to monitor roads and improve response times.

O'Sullivan said: "We are delivering a record £15bn of government investment to give people safe, efficient and reliable journeys, and provide businesses with the links they need to prosper and grow".

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