'Wi-Fi road' trial part of new strategy

'Wi-Fi road' trial part of new strategy

Driverless car technology is set to be trialled on Britain's motorways as part of a new multi-million pound innovation strategy, Highways England has announced.

The organisation says the £150 million plan will see trials of autonomous vehicles starting by the end of next year.

The strategy will also include the trial of a so-called "Wi-Fi road" on the M2/A2 in Kent and south London. The project will see information about congestion, accidents and road closures being wirelessly transmitted to motorists in specially adapted vehicles, enabling them to alter their or change lanes.

Radar technology, meanwhile, is due to be trialled on motorways. By instantly alerting control centres about vehicles which become stationary, it is hoped the technology will improve the way are detected.

Other measures designed to benefit motorists include better motorway junction signalling and developing sensors to improve the way the condition of the highways network is monitored.

The establishment of a new Test and Innovation Centre, where pioneering research can be carried out, will also be looked into as part of the strategy.

Jim O'Sullivan, chief executive of Highways England, says: " We will work with our partners in the supply chain, technology specialists and the automotive industry to trial new technologies that will help make journeys on our roads safer, more reliable and better informed."

"This will involve supporting trials of better connected and autonomous vehicles on our motorways by the end of next year, testing radar technology to better detect breakdowns, and trialling fuel price signs on the M5 between Bristol and Exeter."

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