Theme 1: Design, construction and maintenance
Over the next 30 years and beyond, Highways England wants to improve the resilience and ease of design, construction and maintenance of its assets (roads, bridges, traffic signs and so on), focusing on the following areas:
Automation of the design process to make schemes more efficient and reduce the potential for human error, looking to gradually increase the level and scope of automation.
2.Asset data improvements
Increasing the number of sensors embedded in our assets and the level of data collection both from the physical assets and other sources, such as vehicles
3.Asset management maturity
Creating a sophisticated and unified asset management system. Moving towards analytics of real time data to improve decision making and efficiency of expenditure across all assets
4.Automated construction, maintenance, and inspections
Exploring options to make construction work safer and more efficient, including opportunities for incorporating robotic construction and using drones to help inspect and manage assets.
Adoption of modular construction techniques, reducing the level of roadside working, increasing the pace of construction, and reducing the cost and time taken to renew components.
Reducing the amount of reactive maintenance. This can be done using advanced materials conducive to a self-maintaining, better co-ordinated network that is capable of extending asset life and using assets that either self-heal or do not fail.
Theme 2: Connected and Autonomous Vehicles
1.Supporting connected cars
Maximising benefits of the increase in road traffic connectivity, given the expected rates of public uptake of connected technology.
2.Preparing for the operation of a mixed fleet
Understanding and addressing the challenges of safe operation and communications that early users of CAV technology on the network might face which is likely to be from the second road investment strategy (RIS2) onwards.
Developing Highways England’s role in supporting and enabling CAVs.
3.Aiming to maximise the capacity and safety benefits of CAVs
Using the data available to Highways England as a network operator and road traffic data
Theme 3: Customer mobility
Ensuring that road users will have a positive experience with motorways service areas and other supporting infrastructure.
Supporting transport connectivity across the country, seeking to improve connections between different modes of transport and enable smooth onward journeys.
Theme 4: energy and environment
1.Reducing our impact on neighbours and the environment
Highways England aspires to a network which minimises its impact upon natural environments and protects our heritage, whilst actively resolving noise and other issues for our neighbours.
Enhancements to and renewals of our network in an increasingly sustainable manner. Our future
investments will seek to be more efficient and resilient, reducing waste during the lifetime of our assets.
Theme 5: Operations
In line with Highways England’s customer focus to improve understanding of the customer, provide better information to the customer, maximise the benefits of connected cars and prepare for changes in customer behaviour.
Improving Highways England’s ability to manage the network in real time and to high levels of safety. This is done through state of the art control centres, our on-road service, and traffic analytics. A more free-flowing network and greater operational resilience could greatly improve the users’ experience.
Working towards predictable and efficiently-delivered works, with disruption mitigated through better planning, co-ordination, communication and new technology.
4.Incident and severe weather response
Working towards the delivery of a modern, technologically-enabled response to incidents to keep the network open.
We encourage projects covering themes 1 to 5 to consider:
- that the UK already has an extensive, mature road network
- that roads will be used by conventional vehicles with human drivers for the foreseeable future, but infrastructure will need to be future-proofed for CAVs
- that changes will need to be acceptable to the public as well as making sense from a technical and economic standpoint
- that minimising the frequency, severity and impact of incidents, and the resilience of the road network generally, will continue to be a priority
- that other changes will occur on roads at the same time as the adoption of CAVs, notably the take up of electric vehicles
We also encourage projects which outline how they relate to a plausible long-term vision for UK roads in 2050 and beyond.
6. Air quality
We will focus on innovations which:
- are targeted at oxides of nitrogen pollution as a priority
- are methods targeted at other air pollutants (lower priority)
- enable lower pollution concentrations experienced by neighbouring communities
- are deliverable by Highways England, either acting alone or in partnership with organisations such as local authorities, freight haulage companies, fleet operators or other government agencies
Please refer to http://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/air-pollution/causes
Applicants must follow the source, pathway, receptor model. This might help you consider how your proposal could influence pollution and how it is experienced by local populations. Potential methods could affect:
- the source, in other words how pollution is produced, such as on-vehicle methods, traffic management, speed control, encouraging use of ultra-low-emission vehicles and changing modes of transport
- the pathway, how pollution moves through the environment, including barriers, pollution absorbing materials and pollution dispersal methods
- or the receptor, or how pollution is experienced by property insulation, positive ventilation, filtration and so on