Mark SayManaging EditorThursday 14 December 2017

Connected vehicles and drones could monitor motorways

Strategic Road Network report points to potential for technology to improve road network

Highways England has raised the possibility of using connected vehicles and drones to help monitor the state of the country’s motorways.

It highlighted the potential for coupling these with an “intelligent network” in publishing its Strategic Road Network Initial Report yesterday, saying that technology will play an increasingly major role in keeping people moving.

Connected car abstractAmong the observations in the report is that the rise of intelligent, connected vehicles is expected to lead to sharp changes in how people move around, with the potential for better integrated and safer journeys.

While it makes no direct reference to drones, the agency has done so in the statement that accompanied the release.

It also says the use of smart technology, data and analytics will offer huge opportunities to the road network and the wider infrastructure, and that the use of digital tech in road construction is likely to go through a sustained period of evolution.

In addition, there is an ambition to improve digital messaging and real time traffic updates through ICT.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “This government is making people’s journeys better, faster and safer to give people better access to jobs, schools and their community.

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

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0