National Infrastructure Commission
Competition winners pave the way for Roads for the Future
Smart traffic lights and hi-tech public transport could become an everyday part of people’s journeys, according to ideas put forward by the joint winners of the national Roads for the Future competition announced recently.
The winners – City Science and Leeds City Council – will each receive £25,000 from a dedicated £50,000 prize fund.
Offering his congratulations to the two teams, Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt said he had been impressed by the quality of the competition entries, and their proposals for how our road network can be made ready for driverless cars.
Chair of the Judging Panel Bridget Rosewell added that this should be “just the beginning” of preparing the country’s roads for this new technology, and that the competition should encourage further innovations in this area.
The competition attracted 81 entries from across the country, with five being shortlisted for the final stage.
Today Sir John and the chair of the judging panel Bridget Rosewell, announced that the winners are:
- City Science – based in Exeter, this entry examines how sections of roads in urban areas could initially be dedicated to driverless vehicles, as a key step in kick-starting their take-up and integrating them safely into the existing transport network.
- Leeds City Council – this entry examines how the data generated from digitally connected cars could be used to improve traffic light sequencing, allowing highway authorities to better manage traffic on their roads and reduce tailbacks.
Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt said:
“The vehicles of tomorrow will be very different to those we see around us today. We need to make sure our roads are ready for this revolution.
“With such a strong shortlist narrowing down the entries was no easy task, but the ideas put forward by City Science and Leeds set them apart.
“I’ve been really pleased by the enthusiasm for our competition, and I hope it leads to ever-greater interest not just in the technology in the vehicles, but also in the roads they will travel on.”
Chair of the Judging Panel for the Roads for the Future competition and Commissioner Bridget Rosewell said:
“From Leeds showing how we can harness enhanced traffic data to prevent tailbacks, to City Science’s proposals for gradually integrating driverless cars and buses in our city centres, both winning entrants have demonstrated creativity and ingenuity.
“This is just the beginning of getting our road system ready for the cars of the future and these winning ideas are a great starting point for a wider debate that looks beyond the vehicle itself and towards the roads they will travel on.
“I therefore hope the competition will encourage further innovations that consider both how these vehicles will be driverless, and how they could be connected using the latest digital technology.”
Chief Executive of City Science Laurence Oakes-Ash said:
“City Science are delighted to be joint winners of this fantastic competition. Over the past three months, this project has given us the opportunity to explore the enormous potential of CAVs and set out a tangible vision to deliver their benefits on the UK’s roads.
“It is essential that we get the roll-out of connected and autonomous vehicles right, using them in ways that can integrate with mass transit, promote healthy cities and create successful communities.
“We are thankful to everyone who contributed their time and expertise to this project and would also like to congratulate our joint winners Leeds City Council.”
Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, Councillor Richard Lewis said:
“It’s a fantastic achievement for Leeds City Council to be recognised nationally for our work on transport innovation. We want Leeds to be a smart city and at the forefront of developing technologies to help transform our transport network to improve people’s everyday lives.
“While digitally connected and autonomous vehicles are still a long way down the road, they have the potential to offer massive benefits in major cities like Leeds. We look forward to continuing our work with all our partners and stakeholders to turn this innovation into reality.”
Helping develop Roads for the Future
Launched in January alongside Highways England and Innovate UK, the Roads for the Future competition sought ideas for how the UK’s road network could be adapted to maximise the potential benefits these new vehicles could bring.
It is thought that these benefits could include creating new travel opportunities, freeing up time focused on driving, and helping to improve safety. Other benefits could include increasing road capacity, enabling higher speed limits and shorter journey times, encouraging vehicle sharing, and releasing street space currently used for parking.
The competition’s result follows publication of the UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment, which examined preparing the country’s roads for both electric and driverless cars.
Among its recommendations were that the Government should develop a research framework for connected and autonomous vehicles, particularly focusing on the changes that will be required to the way that roads are planned, designed and operated to maximise the benefits that they could bring.
Notes to Editors:
Plans for the Roads for the Future competition were announced as part of the Chancellor’s Budget statement in November 2017.
Details of the competition and the shortlisted entries can be found here.
The jury for the Roads for the Future competition was:
- Bridget Rosewell, Commissioner (Jury Chair)
- Sir John Armitt, Chairman, National Infrastructure Commission
- Laura Shoaf, Managing Director, Transport for West Midlands
- Dame Julia King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge DBE, engineer and Deputy Chair, Committee on Climate Change
- Professor Natasha Merat, Leader, Human Factors and Safety Group, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds
- Jim O’Sullivan, Chief Executive, Highways England
- Chris Holmes, Senior Research Manager, Jaguar Land Rover
Latest News from
National Infrastructure Commission
Armitt welcomes steps towards low-carbon heating as part of wider climate change ambitions16/10/2018 09:15:00
Sir John Armitt yesterday welcomed the Government’s announcement of a package of measures to develop greener infrastructure – and encouraged Ministers to go even further.
Armitt: Speech to Utility Week Congress11/10/2018 12:15:00
Below is the full text of National Infrastructure Commission Chair Sir John Armitt’s keynote speech to the Utility Week Congress in Birmingham on 10 October.
New water report highlights need for action on leakages and efficiency09/10/2018 15:15:15
An influential Commons select committee today calls for water companies to have powers for compulsory water metering – echoing the National Infrastructure Commission’s own findings.
IPCC report shows need for urgent action on climate change09/10/2018 09:15:00
A new report from the InterGovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlights the need for urgent action – including on tackling the environmental impact of infrastructure.
Enabling work near-complete on ‘vital’ East-West rail link05/10/2018 16:38:00
Enabling works are near completion on a key section of the former “Varsity Line” between Oxford and Cambridge today, reaching a milestone in meeting the National Infrastructure Commission’s recommendations for supporting future economic prosperity across the growth arc.
Rise in electric car sales shows need for truly national charging network05/10/2018 11:15:00
New figures published yesterday show a 3.9 per cent increase in the sale of electric, hybrid and hybrid plug-in cars in September compared with the same month last year, underlining the growing demand in the market – and the need for a truly, national visible charging network to enable growth in electric vehicle sales to continue in particular, as outlined in the UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment.
New regulation study to help find the right conditions for future infrastructure innovation04/10/2018 12:15:00
The National Infrastructure Commission is to examine regulation of the UK’s energy, telecoms and water industries, to ensure the necessary levels of investment and innovation whilst these critical services are kept affordable for everyone.
Armitt: new funding welcome – but further devolution needed to boost local transport28/09/2018 14:15:00
Sir John Armitt yesterday welcomed Government plans to invest £840 million in improving transport within 10 city regions across the UK – and urged ministers to go even further by devolving even more powers and funding to local leaders.