A new research project investigating the implications for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) on the UK motorway network has moved to its second phase.
Involving Loughborough University, Innovate UK and Highways England, and construction specialist Galiford Try, the completion of the first stage of the project highlighted three main areas of concern for the use of CAVs on the motorway network – how they deal with roadworks, merging and diverging areas, and lane markings.
According to the companies, phase two will involve exploring these three areas in more detail. An instrumented vehicle, acting as a proxy for a CAV, alongside additional roadside data sources will be used to gather data from the M1 between junctions 13 and 15. This data will be fed into an advanced simulation platform and used to identify possible measures to avoid future incidents.
These interventions will subsequently be tested in real-world conditions to make recommendations to asset owners, highways contractors, vehicle manufacturers and others.
Jon de Souza, research and development manager for Galliford Try, commented, “This research is vital because CAVs’ ability to apply their intelligence is severely limited by the current approach to roadway infrastructure design and maintenance and by the fact that road technology has not kept pace with CAV technology. We need to close the gap. The project has the potential to influence the industry not only nationally but globally too as we prepare for the CAV revolution.”