Being stuck in traffic and feeling as though a stretch of clear road will never come is surely one of the most frustrating moments for drivers. Fortunately, the motoring world appears to share this concern, as evident by the technology that is being designed and launched to try and combat moments of gridlock on the nation’s roads.
Here, second hand vans stockist Van Monster has analysed three standout-out developments which could see us saying goodbye to the dreaded traffic jam in the years to come:
1. The case for smart motorways
In order to manage the flow of traffic on major routes, many miles of smart motorways have begun to appear throughout the UK. Controlled from a regional traffic control centre and the responsibility of Highways England, the idea sees traffic being carefully monitored so that vehicles have the best opportunity to flow freely along a route.
Need to travel on a stretch of smart motorway that’s already in operation? Be sure to keep an eye out for these features:
- A lane that has a red ‘X’ in the electronic signs that hangs over it shouldn’t be driven along.
- The hard shoulder — indicated by a solid white line — shouldn’t be driven along unless otherwise directed to do so.
- The smart motorway’s current speed limit will be indicated by gantries and should be kept to. The speed limit will change depending on the amount of traffic.
- Refuge areas should be used for emergencies at times when drivers can travel along the hard shoulder.
Smart motorways can already be found on parts of the M42, M25, M5 and M4, with plans also in place to make more across the UK in the near future.
2. The case for smart cities
Cities could soon be getting stretches of smart roads too, due to a collaboration that has been established between NXP and Siemens, which could signal a new era of connected vehicles. Making use of in-vehicle chips designed by NXP which are incorporated with smart infrastructure that is being overseen by Siemens, the devices will allow vehicles to talk to each other within a city.
The result of the collaboration could see these features appearing across UK cities in the coming years:
- The ability for traffic lights to turn green when roads are particularly busy.
- The chance for drivers to be instantly warned about any traffic jams on the road that they are travelling along.
- The opportunity for real-time information about general travel conditions to be communicated straight to vehicles and their drivers.
- The capability for drivers to be informed about any pedestrian crossings, stretches of road with lower speed limits or emergency vehicles that are nearby, via a hi-tech dashboard.
NXP and Siemens are confident they will be able to release their devices by 2020. For this to be possible though, cities will first need to implement the technology throughout their streets for the idea to be fully effective.
3. The case for traffic updates being advertised on buses
Find yourself behind the bus on the 344 route from Clapham Junction to Liverpool Street in London, and you could soon be kept updated with local traffic news in a unique manner. This is a result of a six-month trial that is being launched by Transport for London (TfL), which will see digital information boards being installed into the back windows of the transport.
The boards make use of GPS technology in order to broadcast live and accurate traffic data that comes straight from TfL’s 24-hour traffic control centre.
“This innovative use of one of the capital’s most iconic features – the London bus – will help all road users,” pointed out Garrett Emmerson, the Chief Operation Officer for Surface Transport at the TfL.
The technology’s trial period will only cover the 344 route. However, if successful there are already plans in place to expand it onto the 415 route that travels from Tulse Hill to Liverpool Street and possibly the whole of London.