Government Trials V2I “Corridor” in South-East UK

The UK government has demonstrated a “corridor” within a major south-eastern highway that it’s equipping for V2I communications to major automotive industry figures.

The Department for Transport, in cooperation with Transport for London, Highways England and Kent County Council, demonstrated its development of the corridor on the A2 and M2 in Kent to over 60 notable attendees, and has called the week-long demonstration ‘TESTFEST’. The government is claiming that allowing vehicles to communicate with infrastructure on a major highway will lead to “safer, more reliable journeys and speedier maintenance”, along with “reduce[d] delays”.

The authorities are currently testing how data on road conditions can be transmitted to V2I-equipped test vehicles via a wireless network. The government claims this data can make roads safer, and allow drivers and fleet managers “to make real-time decisions”. It says this latter capability can in turn expedite the flow of traffic.

UK Roads Minister Jesse Norman said: “Between 2015 and 2020, the government is planning to invest over £20Bn on improving and extending the UK’s road network … new technologies are increasingly playing a central role in this process of transformation, and connected and autonomous vehicles could be worth tens of billions of pounds to the UK economy by 2035. This exciting project showcases some of the emerging technologies involved.”

The project forms part of InterCor, an EU cross-border transport project aiming to improve connections between the UK and the Netherlands, France and Belgium. The project is scheduled for completion in March 2020, but when asked, a Highways England spokesperson was unable to comment on how it would continue after the UK exits the EU in March 2019.

 


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