Highways England launches competition to help shape the roads of the future

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The government has promised £20m to fund projects to create ‘digital roads’ with smart technology.


Highways England has set aside the funds to invest in projects that will change the way the UK’s motorways and major roads are designed, managed and used. 


They are launching two competitions to find firms that want to develop innovative new technologies to make it easier and more efficient to manage the country’s road network.


The organisation is seeking to invest in ‘creative solutions’ covering six themes:

  • Design, construction and maintenance

  • Connected and autonomous vehicles

  • Customer mobility

  • Energy and the environment

  • Operations 

  • Air quality

All submissions must be suitable for trials on England’s motorways and A-roads, but the competition is open to companies of any size.  Entrants will be split into two competitions, one focusing on potential schemes that need funding for feasibility studies and the other will look at proven schemes that are further along in development.  


Entries close in May, with proposed start date of Septemer for the winning projects. The successful bids will be administered by Innovate UK, which connects the businesses with potential partners and investors.


Those interested in entering the competition are encouraged to join a webinar hosted by Innovate UK and Highways England on Thursday 14 February.


Mike Wilson, Highways England’s Executive Director for Safety, Engineering and Standards, said, “This is an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs, collaborative partnerships, and organisations of any size to help shape the roads of the future. 


“We want to explore new and innovative approaches and invest in the best.


“And we’re keen to engage with a wider network than we have traditionally worked with.


“Together we can make great improvements both to people’s journeys and communities and the environment around our network.”

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