March's top stories: Indian road ministry plans to raise $7.4bn, TfL trials speed limiting technology

Indian road ministry holds talks with Employees Provident Fund Organisation to raise $7.4bn to expand highway projects, and Transport for London has completed trials of buses equipped with intelligent speed assistance technology. Roadtraffic-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from March 2016.


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Indian road ministry to raise $7.4bn for highway expansion projects

The Indian Ministry of Road Transport and Highways held talks with retirement fund body Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), in order to raise Rs500bn ($7.4bn) in a bid to expand highway projects.

The fund will be used for the development of medium-sized highways that will be built under an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis.

According to the Economic Times, a senior government official said that the EPFO is looking for an interest rate of a slightly more than 8.75% that it offers to its 50 million subscribers at present.

TfL completes successful trials of speed limiting technology

The UK's Transport for London (TfL) completed trials of buses equipped with intelligent speed assistance (ISA) technology.

The first of its kind in the UK, the trials and their success have proven that ISA can be used in buses to control their speed limits, while improving road safety by reducing the number of road accidents by half by 2020.

TfL surface transport managing director Leon Daniels said: "We're investigating a range of new technologies that can make our bus network the safest in the world.

First all-electric BYD double-decker buses launched in London

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The UK's Transport for London (TfL) launched long-range, zero-emission, all-electric BYD double-decker buses on revenue service routes.

London deputy mayor of environment and energy Matthew Pencharz formally received the first all-electric bus from electric vehicle manufacturer BYD Europe at a special ceremony at London City Hall.

To start with, TfL is deploying five all-electric double decker buses on route 98, which is known to be a 'pollution hotspot' in London.

Indian road ministry plans to award $14.9bn of road projects in the north-east

India's Ministry of Road Transport and Highways intends to award road projects worth Rs1,000bn ($14.9bn) in the north-east over the next five years.

The decision was taken in a meeting of the parliamentary consultative committee of the road transport and highways ministry held in New Delhi.

The meeting was conducted under the Chairmanship of Road Transport and Highways minister Nitin Gadkari, as well as discussed the functioning of National Highways and Infrastructure Development (NHIDCL) and the issue of road safety.

General Motors to acquire Cruise Automation for $1bn

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General Motors (GM) announced its $1bn acquisition of automated driving technology start-up Cruise Automation.

With the purchase, the American motor company intends to implement Cruise's software talent and development capability to boost its autonomous vehicle (AV) programme.

GM expects to close the deal with the three-year old company in the second quarter of this year.

TomTom integrates Real-Time Maps in navigation software

TomTom has integrated Real-Time Maps into its NavKit navigation software in order to provide up-to-date, personalised maps to motorists.

The use of Real-Time Maps will enable NavKit to receive the latest map updates and additional geographical locations.

Based on the navigation data standard (NDS) format, Real-Time Maps has been positioned as the world's first transactional mapmaking platform.

Las Vegas to install streetlights powered by sun and pedestrians

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The city of Las Vegas in Nevada, US, is set to install an innovative streetlighting technology that is powered by sun and pedestrians.

Following a partnership with EnGoPLANET, the city will deploy the innovative streetlighting system at Boulder Plaza.

EnGoPLANET's LED street lights make use of energy drawn not just from the sun, but also from footsteps of passing pedestrians, thereby keeping the lights illuminated throughout the night.

According to the company, there are more than 300 million inefficient streetlights worldwide that need to be replaced over the next decade.

The EnGoPLANET streetlights are connected to long-lasting kinetic energy tiles that transform motion into useful energy.

"There are more than 300 million inefficient streetlights worldwide that need to be replaced over the next decade."

UK driverless trucks to be trialled on roads

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) approved test trials of automated trucks on the country's roads in the near future.

The confirmation of the decision has been included in this year's Budget statement.

Transport Research Laboratory academy director professor Nick Reed said: "TRL welcomes the chancellor's confirmation of truck platooning trials on the UK's roads.