Costain to build pioneering “Wi-Fi road” in Kent

UK contractor Costain has been awarded a contract to design, install and manage one of the UK’s first smart motorways.

The A2/M2 "connected corridor" in Kent will be fitted with wireless technology that that can transmit data between vehicles and the roadside units. Initially, the information gathered will relate to repairs, road conditions, speed limits and traffic lights. 

Once collected, information will be used to develop standards for information exchange between vehicles and their infrastructure.

The contract was awarded by the Highways England agency, and also involves the Department for Transport, Transport for London and Kent council.

Other specialists working on the project are consulting engineer Mott MacDonald, and a group of intelligent transport specialists: 4way Consulting and TRL from the UK, Kapsch TrafficCom from Austria and Altran from France.

Telecoms and tech firms involved include Cohda Wireless from Australia, Telent Technology Services from the UK and Spain’s Telefonica.

Mike Wilson, a director of Highways England, said: "Having the technology in place to allow vehicles to connect to each other and the road around them has the potential to improve journeys, making them safer and more reliable by providing real-time, personalised information directly to the driver. It could also help us manage traffic and respond to incidents."

Andrew Wyllie, Costain’s chief executive, said: "This is an important step in making our roads safer and improving journey time reliability by embracing cutting-edge technology."

Image courtesy of Costain

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