The UK’s first motorway, the M1, was opened in 1959. The designers at that time could never have imagined how the road network and driving were to change. The speed of cars, the standardisation of traffic signage, and the sophistication of embedded technology. One of the greatest advancements was the understanding of how light impacts motorist when travelling at speed.
Today’s motorways have more embedded computing power than the space craft that put a man on the moon. This year the first stretch of ‘smart’ road (M3 Jnct. 2-4) will be opened, with the ‘road’ directly communicating with control centres and with (suitable equipped) cars.
The road traffic equipment market is correspondingly evolving. All signage will move from ‘dumb’ to ‘intelligent’, from standalone to ‘networked’, from ‘communicators’ to ‘sensors’.