News story

Artificial Intelligence to end future holiday jams caused by roadworks

Navigational apps powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) will help drivers to plan trips.

Aerial view of major road network
  • government to help bank holiday road users receive warnings on traffic jams caused by roadworks through revolutionary plans to open up data
  • access to data on planned changes to the road network could lead to the next generation of navigational apps
  • plans will give drivers the confidence to plan important trips without the fear of being stuck in traffic, and reduce congestion, delays and air pollution

Motorists could soon enjoy quicker and easier getaways on bank holidays, as government announces plans today (26 August 2019) to open up data on planned changes to the road network, highlighting potential traffic jams up to months in advance.

Tech firms could soon get access to this data thanks to a review of legislation around Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) - the orders behind restrictions on the road network which allow for temporary roadworks or permanent changes to the road.

Companies will potentially be able to develop and enhance navigational apps powered by AI, warning drivers up to months in advance of planned disruption to routes and offering alternatives to help save time and money.

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.

Working with organisations including local authorities and the Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) sector, the department will look at introducing legislation to make it easier to access data around the predicted 50,000 yearly road closures building on the government’s commitment to make travelling cleaner and greener, safer, easier and more reliable.

The review will support the government’s Future of Mobility Grand Challenge by considering whether current legislation is fit to maximise the potential of future technologies. Evidence suggests that opening up TRO data could also help with route planning systems for self-driving vehicles, cementing the UK’s position as a world leader in developing self-driving vehicle technology.

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Published 26 August 2019