Two new projects that aim to help ensure UK roads are ready for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) have been named joint winners of the National Infrastructure Commission’s Roads for the Future competition.
City Science and Leeds City Council will each receive £25,000 from a dedicated £50,000 prize fund after beating 79 other entries from across the country.
Exeter-based City Science will look at how sections of roads in urban areas could be dedicated to driverless vehicles, to help integrate them safely into the existing transport network.
“It is essential that we get the roll-out of connected and autonomous vehicles right, using them in ways that can integrate with mass transit, promote healthy cities and create successful communities,” commented Laurence Oakes-Ash, chief executive of City Science.
In the second winning project, Leeds City Council will focus on improving traffic light sequencing by using the data generated from digitally connected cars – allowing highway authorities to better manage traffic on their roads and reduce congestion.
“We want Leeds to be a smart city and at the forefront of developing technologies to help transform our transport network to improve people’s everyday lives,” explained Councillor Richard Lewis from Leeds City Council.
The two winning ideas are “a great starting point for a wider debate that looks beyond the vehicle itself and towards the roads they will travel on,” according to Bridget Rosewell, chair of the judging panel.
“I therefore hope the competition will encourage further innovations that consider both how these vehicles will be driverless, and how they could be connected using the latest digital technology,” she added.