Highways England launches competition for roads innovation
- February 13, 2019

Highways England has launched two £20 million competitions to encourage new ideas for UK roads and driving.

The money has been set aside by Highways England to invest in projects that will innovate the design and management of the country’s major roads. They are encouraging ideas that will make roads cleaner, safer and more cost effective to construct.

A webinar is being held on February 14th co-hosted by Innovate UK. The competitions are part of the Government’s current £15 billion road investment plan.

The competitions come on the back of other innovation projects, including an online ‘innovation portal’ launched last year which explored ideas for road safety improvement and allows motorists to access information and news. The organisation also showcased technology connecting cars on the road and allowing them to ‘talk’ to each other.

There are six key themes Highways England is looking for in competition entries: design construction and maintenance, connected and autonomous vehicles, customer mobility energy and the environment, and operations air quality.

Mike Wilson, Highways England’s Director for Safety, Engineering, and Standards said: “We want to explore new and innovative approaches and invest in the best. And we’re keen to engage with a wider network than we have traditionally worked with.”

“Together we can make great improvements both to people’s journeys and communities and the environment around our network.”

The Government has said possible entries could include self-repairing roads, robotic construction tools, and connected modes of transport. Organisations of any size can join.

It is hoped that the projects chosen will result in better and more predictable journeys, improved road safety, better quality public spaces, and improved health due to less pollution. The competition also reflects the increase in automation in vehicles, including the development of driverless cars.

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