British motorists who are still recovering from Bank Holiday gridlock and nightmare roadworks can take comfort from the fact that artificial intelligence is coming to the rescue, amid Government plans to open up data on scheduled changes to the road network, months in advance.
A review of legislation around Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) - which detail restrictions on the road network that allow for temporary roadworks or permanent changes to the road - means that technology companies could soon get access to this information.
Companies will potentially be able to develop and enhance navigational apps powered by AI, warning drivers months in advance of planned disruption to routes and offering alternatives to help save time and money.
Minister for the Future of Transport George Freeman said: "As a road user, there is nothing more frustrating than discovering roadworks and getting stuck in traffic jams. This announcement will help open up data, reducing congestion, pollution and frustration for road users."
Working with organisations including local authorities and the Connected & Automated Vehicle (CAV) sector, the department will look at introducing legislation to make it easier to access data around the predicted 50,000 yearly road closures. This, it is claimed, will build on the Government’s commitment to make travelling cleaner and greener, safer, easier and more reliable.
The review will also support the Government’s Future of Mobility Grand Challenge by considering whether existing legislation is fit to maximise the potential of future technologies.
The Government claims evidence suggests that opening up TRO data could also help with route planning systems for self-driving vehicles, as the UK strives to become a world leader in developing self-driving vehicle technology.