In-car sig­nage to KO M-way gantries

Signs and warn­ings could be com­ing to your dash dis­play

Auto Express - - Contents - Hu­go_­grif­fiths@den­nis.co.uk @hu­go_­grif­fiths Hugo Grif­fiths

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”

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