National Highways Illuminate project tests intelligent lighting as part of CAV infrastructure

National Highways, the UK government company that plans, designs, builds, operates and maintains England’s motorways and major A roads, known as the strategic road network (SRN), has revealed that it has conducted a trial into how streetlighting could be used to pave the way for autonomous vehicles in the future.

Featuring closed-circuit television and wireless technology stored inside roadside streetlight lanterns, the ‘proof of concept’ trial took place on the M40 Junction 15 (Longbridge Roundabout) near Birmingham in the UK Midlands. The ‘Illuminate’ project ran for five months in 2021 and successfully proved the concept, with the technology able to communicate data to office equipment and tablet computers.

The knowledge gained in the trial will be used to help shape National Highways’ strategy for managing future connected and autonomous (CAV) infrastructure, which will see information on traffic updates, speed limits and diversions pushed out to vehicles to help their onboard computers plan journeys more effectively.

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