New smart traffic lights that aim to reduce stop-start driving and cut congestion and vehicle emissions are to be trialled in the UK.
The lights advise drivers and vehicles what speed they should drive at in order to arrive at the next set of lights as they turn green. Developed by infrastructure firm AECOM, they will be tested using a simulation model of the A59 in York.
It’s one of five projects shortlisted in a national competition to design roads fit for driverless cars.
Roads for the Future was launched in January by the National Infrastructure Commission, Highways England and Innovate UK as part of efforts to help prepare the UK’s road network for the growth of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).
The other shortlisted projects include:
– Flexible kerb space, with features such as double yellow lines and parking bays changing according to the time of day and levels of demand.
– Dedicating sections of existing roads to driverless cars, making it easier to manage any risk and integrate CAVs into the existing transport network.
– Using artificial intelligence (AI) to help sat-nav systems learn better routes to improve the directions given, so that both driven and driverless cars could change course to avoid congestion.
– Examining how data from connected cars could be used to improve traffic light systems.
Each project team will receive up to £30,000 to test their ideas, with a £50,000 prize available for the overall winner, to be announced later this year.
Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt said: “We can see for ourselves the progress in developing cars for the future, with trials of driverless cars taking place across the country — we now need to make sure the technology on our roads keeps up.”