Highways England has released a report highlighting the future of Britain’s roads amid driverless cars.
The report, titled The Strategic Road Network Initial Report, details the importance of 5G to driverless and connected cars’ success on a nationwide level, with the first examples scheduled to be on UK roads within the next three years.
With this in mind, road-building will be tweaked to best accommodate connected and autonomous cars ahead of their arrival, with collaborations between the Government, manufacturers, developers and other parties planned to give driverless cars the best start on UK roads possible.
These collaborations will culminate in more convenient information processing, such as determining how best to deliver data for traffic management and integration with smart roads to reduce traffic.
A potential outcome of this is a Japan-style timetable, with journey times offered, backed up with live traffic data for accurate predictions.
Further to this connected, live data, potholes are being targeted as an area of potential improvement as a result of driverless cars, with these vehicles detecting potholes and reporting them to Highways England so repairs can be scheduled. Drones are also planned for traffic and incident surveillance, reporting back data required for the best possible response time.
The report also outlines plans for electric charging, which aim to provide a charger within 20 miles of every road user on 95% of the so-called strategic road network. This will take place before the end of 2019, with funds already ringfenced for this purpose.
Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan said: “We are delivering a record £15 billion of government investment to give people safe, efficient and reliable journeys, and provide businesses with the links they need to prosper and grow.”