The Department of Transport (DfT) in the United Kingdom has bold plans to reduce traffic build-up and air pollution.
It will soon publish reams of data surrounding planned roadworks, allowing navigation apps with artificial intelligence to predict traffic jams up to months in advance and provide motorists with alternative routes. This should save them a lot of time and money.
The government department is going to work with organizations including local authorities as well as introducing new laws to make access to data about road closures much easier.
“As a road user, there is nothing more frustrating than discovering roadworks and getting stuck in traffic jams,” note UK Minister for the Future of Transport, George Freeman. “Today’s announcement will help open up data, reducing congestion, pollution and frustration for road users.”
The data would cover approximately 50,000 road closures that are predicted each year. In a statement, the DfT said the plans will “give drivers confidence” to plan important trips without the worry of being stuck in traffic. This could, in turn, cut air pollution levels as it will reduce the volume of vehicles in traffic hotspots.
Access to this data could do more than make life easier for motorists. The Department of Transport reckons that it could also help with route planning systems for self-driving vehicles.
This would help the government with its ambition to be a world leader in autonomous vehicle technology. It has set a target of having self-driving cars on the UK's roads by 2021.