Artificial intelligence to help reduce future traffic jams caused by roadworks

Artificial intelligence could be used to help prevent traffic jams months before they have time to appear, new Government plans have revealed.

A review of Traffic Regulation Orders – a tool that allows authorities to close roads for temporary roadworks or to make permanent changes to a road – by the Department for Transport (DfT) has been undertaken, with the intention of making such information more widely available.

It would allow technology companies to develop new satellite navigation apps powered by artificial intelligence which could update drivers on planned disruption to roads on their desired route well ahead of time. It would see motorists offered alternative routes, therefore making journey planning more effortless.

George Freeman, minister for the future of transport, 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.”

The DfT will work with local authorities and the Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) sector to introduce legislation which will make it easier to access data surrounding the yearly road closures which occur on the UK’s network. A predicted 50,000 road closures are set to happen next year alone.

The review is helping to support the government’s future of mobility grand challenge, which looks analyse whether current legislation is able to maximise the potential of future technologies.

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