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National Highways claims success in intelligent street lighting trials


Mark Say Managing Editor

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National Highways has claimed a success from a proof of concept trial on the use of CCTV and wireless kit stored inside the lanterns of street lights.

It said the Illuminate trial of intelligent street lighting, which was carried out over five months of last year on the M40 junction Longbridge roundabout near Birmingham, has shown the technology was able to communicate data to office equipment and tablet computers.

The knowledge gained in the trial will now be used to help shape National Highways’ strategy for managing an infrastructure for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).

The roads agency for England’s innovations lead for the Midlands, Lisa Maric, said: “These are exciting times as we progress on our Digital Roads journey with the growth of digital technology and the move to electric, connected and autonomous vehicles that will fundamentally change how we use roads in the future.

“National Highways is committed to ensuring we are at the forefront of this digital revolution and are preparing the way for the greener and safer roads of tomorrow.

“Initial trials such as Illuminate will help us identify new innovations, technology and methods to meet our digital goals. We were pleased with how Illuminate performed as a proof of concept and the useful knowledge gained as we continue to plan for the roads of the future.”

Drivers 'oblivious'

The development of 5G networks and internet of things sensors has provided the scope to equip street lamps with devices such as wireless access points and cameras, and National Highways said drivers would have been oblivious to their presence as the technology was installed when the lights were switched to LED lighting.

It worked on the trial with Kier Highways, whose project manager Carla Vicente said: “Being able to install technology, such as CCTV, while we are replacing street lighting is a more efficient way of working and provides better value for customers.

“More importantly, it is a safer and less disruptive way of working, reducing the amount of road closures required.”

The trial was funded through National Highways’ Innovation and Modernisation Fund.

Image from iStock, Yuliia Blazhuk


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