Kent connected car infrastructure test aims to bust traffic jams

Tests in A2 and M2 in Kent look to enhance traffic safety and flow

Highways England is running a trial on connected car infrastructure in Kent to help make journeys faster and safer.

The trials, in partnership with the Department for Transport, Kent County Council and Transport for London, have been conducted on the A2 and M2 in Kent.

The trials were part of a week-long demonstration to an international delegation of over 60 people from the automobile world to allow them to understand the technology and see how it could be used in the construction of future vehicle designs.

Dubbed Testfest, the tests are looking at how information about road conditions, road works and time left for traffic lights to change to green can be transmitted to test vehicles via a wireless network.

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It also demonstrated information and tools for drivers and fleet managers to make real-time decisions on how to improve travel times.

"Connecting vehicles to each other and the road around can improve journeys, make them safer and give drivers reliable, real-time personalised information; it could also help us manage traffic and respond to incidents," said Jo White, head of intelligent transport systems group at Highways England.

Roads Minister Jesse Norman said that the government was planning to invest over 20 billion by 2020 on improving and extending the UK's road network. He added that new technologies would play a "central role in this process of transformation, and connected and autonomous vehicles could be worth tens of billions of pounds to the UK economy by 2035".

The test is part of an EU project called InterCor, which aims to test services that work across borders, connecting the UK to the Netherlands, France and Belgium. The project started in 2016 and is due to be completed in 2019.

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