Driverless car projects could influence traffic surveys

A range of recently approved road and vehicle technology projects could help to improve road traffic conditions in years to come, and influence the way that traffic and parking surveys are undertaken.

Everyone is aware of Google’s driverless car programme, and a range of road car manufacturers are also researching and implementing technologies into their vehicles that remove some operations from the driver, in a series of steps that could lead to completely driverless travel in the future. These systems are designed to make travel safer, resulting in greater road traffic control.

The most recent projects to be supported by the government include technologies for both road and rail systems. For example, around 40 miles of existing roads in Coventry are to be equipped with systems that will aid so-called ‘autonomous’ vehicles. These talking technologies will be able to alert drivers of accidents ahead and receive details of hazards in the area.

Other projects to receive government backing include ways to reduce the cost of testing driverless technologies, surveys that improve manufacturers’ understanding of what drivers are really looking for from the technologies, and technology that monitors vehicle data to predict safety risks.

The congested nature of today’s traffic and road conditions link with a desire to make driving easier and safer so that, rather than adding more road traffic calming measures to our streets, the vehicles themselves become part of the solution, not part of the problem.

And how will this impact traffic survey work? It’s possible that driverless cars may be able to continuously send data back to the manufacturer or to a nominated survey source so that accurate and real-time travel data can be collected. This, merged with survey data taken in more traditional ways will help road planners, developers, manufacturers and safety campaigners see exactly what impact the new technology has on congestion, journey times and general road safety.

Traffic surveys from RDS

At Road Data Services, we specialise in a range of surveys using the latest technologies. Our knowledge, understanding and analysis allows planning departments, transport consultants and developers of all types see exactly what impact new developments or changes to road systems will have on the travelling public, and to implement systems and changes that ease congestion and improve safety.

To find out more about our work, or to talk to us about your next project, please contact us today.

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