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AI-powered apps could warn drivers on traffic jams

Drivers could soon be able to receive advance warnings on traffic jams caused by roadworks from navigation apps powered by Artificial Intelligence.

DfT is considering whether it should expand roadworks charging

Access to data on planned changes to the road network could lead to the next generation of navigational apps

The Department for Transport is planning to open up data on planned changes to the road network to tech firms, enabling them to develop apps that warn drivers up to months in advance of planned disruption to routes and offer alternatives.

According to the DfT, there are around predicted 50,000 yearly road closures. Tech firms could soon get access to this data thanks to a review of legislation around Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) – the orders behind restrictions on the road network which allow for temporary roadworks or permanent changes to the road.

Minister for the Future of Transport George Freeman said the announcement would “help open up data, reducing congestion, pollution and frustration for road users”.

The review will support the Government’s Future of Mobility Grand Challenge by considering whether current legislation is fit to maximise the potential of future technologies. Evidence suggests that opening up TRO data could also help with route planning systems for self-driving vehicles, in line with the Government’s plans to become a world leader in developing self-driving vehicle technology.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.