Government to open up roadwork data in bid to end holiday traffic jams
Holiday traffic jams could be a thing of the past, according to a government announcement that they will be opening up roadwork data to tech companies.
The announcement by the Department for Transport on Sunday claimed that it would allow for a “next generation of navigational apps” powered by AI which could inform motorists about disrupted road months beforehand.
The data, which includes information from changes to signs and speed limits to road closures from roadworks or street parties, is expected to allow apps to have the most up-to-date information on the UK road network which many sat-navs do not.
This came after the department conducted research with tech firms and map makers as part of a government drive on the future of mobility.
The Telegraph understands that a legislative review will be completed by the end of the year, and that the data will be in line with open data principles.
Minister for the Future of Transport George Freeman said: “As a road user, there is nothing more frustrating than discovering roadworks and getting stuck in traffic jams.
“Today’s announcement will help open up data, reducing congestion, pollution and frustration for road users.”
According to RAC, at the end of March 2019, there were 38.4 million vehicles licensed for use on the roads in Great Britain. (31.7 million cars)
Last year drivers in the UK lost an average of 178 hours a year due to congestion. This cost motorists £7.9 billion in 2018, an average of £1,317 per driver, according to the Global Traffic Scorecard.
The research ranked London as the 6th most congested city in the world, with 227 hours lost due to congestion.
The department also confirmed that the data will provide the framework for the introduction of Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV) such as driverless cars.
Earlier this year the government announced that it planned to move forward on advanced trials for automated vehicles.
A statement said that the UK is “on track to meet its commitment to have fully self-driving vehicles on UK roads by 2021.”
According to a study by KPMG, connected and autonomous vehicles are set to add £51 billion a year to the UK economy by 2030.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “It’s one thing to know months in advance where works might be, and quite another to find diversion routes on a road network that is already amongst the busiest in Europe.
“If alternatives were readily available, drivers who routinely face tortuous journeys – roadworks or not – to holiday hotspots in places like the West Country would already have found them.
“It is critical that roadworks are scheduled correctly and carried out to time.”
Original source article: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2019/08/27/government-open-roadwork-data-bid-end-holiday-traffic-jams/
Author: Mason Boycott-Owen
Disclaimer: This article was not originally written by a member of the HighwaysIndustry.Com team.