In-car signage to KO M-way gantries
Signs and warnings could be coming to your dash display
MOTORWAY gantries and road signs could be replaced by digital dash displays, after road chiefs announced a new trial of in-vehicle signage tech.
Highways England, the Governmentowned company responsible for trunk roads and motorways, will test a new set-up that displays data such as variable speed limits on screens inside cars.
Notifications for upcoming roadworks will also be displayed, allowing motorists to change lanes in advance, which will improve traffic flow and give more space for roadworkers.
A spokesman for Highways England said the trial “will increase safety and, in the longer term, this may eventually allow some roadside infrastructure, such as gantries, to be removed”.
Motoring groups expressed concerns over the plans, though. RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said: “While having ever better, faster real-time journey information displayed in-vehicle is a good thing, we’re a long way from having technology in every vehicle that completely replaces the reassurance we get from having a permanent sign.”
Gooding added many sat-navs and head-up displays already pre-empt road signage, and said permanent, physical signs provide “the perfect back-up when the hi-tech solution fails”.
The in-vehicle signage pilot project is due to start towards the end of the year, and is expected to run until December 2020. It will be rolled out as part of the A2/M2 connected corridor, which runs between London and Dover. The set-up involves running fibre-optic cables and wireless ‘ITS-G5’ transmitters along the central reservation of the road.
The connected corridor itself is part of the part-eu-funded Interoperable Corridors project. This aims to ensure connected vehicles from different countries are able to interact with other nations’ infrastructure, paving the way for future autonomous cars to operate internationally.
A further in-vehicle signage trial being run by Highways England will see drivers advised how long traffic lights will take to change from red to green, and vice-versa.
The in-car screen will then display the optimal safe speed for the vehicle to travel at, potentially allowing it to pass through an uninterrupted series of green traffic lights.
As well as being a time-saving convenience, Highways England bosses hope the traffic light trial will demonstrate some “emission reduction benefits” if cars don’t have to stop at lights so frequently.
“Notification for upcoming roadworks will be displayed, allowing motorists to change lanes in advance to improve traffic flow”