Could ‘In-Vehicle Signage’ Replace Traditional Roadside Signs?

Mon 30th Jul 2018

Highways England has announced that it is trialling a new system of ‘in-vehicle signage’ which could eventually replace the traditional motorway gantries and road signs.

A report published by the government-owned agency has said that the new technology could be ready for November and will be tested on parts of the A2 and M2 between London and Dover, in specially equipped test vehicles which will be modified to allow drivers to see the in-car information.

In announcing the technology Highways England said that the benefits of the ‘in-vehicle signage’ would be increased safety by sounding warnings within cars, rather than relying on drivers to read signs by the roadside. The information provided could also be used by driverless and automated cars. The new tech could also lead to ‘some roadside infrastructure, such as gantries, to be removed.’

The trial is set to cost up to £20m and will last until December 2020 and is expected to be made possible by the installation of a 5G broadband network which will be placed down the central reservation.

Though many vehicles are already installed with wireless technology which connects them to the network, this will be one of the first systems to send information directly to individual cars based on their location on the motoring network.

The ‘in-vehicle signage’ has been met with caution from some motoring groups with Steve Gooding from the RAC saying: "While having still better, faster real-time journey information displayed in-vehicle is a good thing, we’re a long way from having technology in every vehicle that completely replaces the reassurance we get from having a permanent sign."