Plans tabled to beam travel info to car dashboards

Traffic uses the hard shoulder of the M42 near Solihull. Major new multimillion-pound road schemes were announced today by Transport Secretary Philip Hammond. He gave details of eight motorway schemes including one to allow motorists to drive on the hard shoulder of two sections of the M25 at peak times.

The days of traditional road signs could be over as plans are tabled to beam travel information straight to the dashboards of Britain's motorists.

Highways England is set to announce proposals to fit 700 miles of fibre-optic cables under motorways that will help with smart and autonomous vehicles.

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Information on the road ahead and traffic conditions will be transmitted into modern and driverless cars, which could also spell the end for conventional road signs.

If plans are met, the main roads between London, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and Leeds will be converted by 2030, as many of those roads have been prepared to take on the fibre optic cabling.

The M1, M4, M6, M25, M40 and M42 are the country's busiest highways, and all of these are expected to be turned into smart motorways.

By using 5G superfast Internet, the system will be used to direct smart vehicles and drivers into the correct lanes if an accident has occurred and help them navigate on their journeys. It could also predict when road-use will be at its highest, and divert people away from highly concentrated areas.

Highways England also say that drones will be introduced to collect footage of congestion, which would then be relayed back so that the information could be passed on.

These plans are due to be implemented in the next funding period between 2020 and 2025, with initial reports saying the project is due to cost £30 billion.

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