The UK Highways Agency is piloting a new system that adds traffic data to its existing real-time traffic source, providing improved updates to users and monitoring the traffic flow on England's motorways and strategic roads.
The new system will collect data from mobile devices and vehicle tracking systems to provide accurate information to the agency, which can be efficiently used to take appropriate measures and reduce traffic congestion.
The agency is currently relying on the limited scope of cameras and sensors to respond in case any incidents are captured, but the new system will help it work with global positioning system (GPS) data to improve services.
With improved real-time data, the Highways Agency can respond to incidents quicker, identify traffic delays earlier, communicate with drivers faster and suggest alternative routes.
The Highways Agency has successfully used new technology on its M25 scheme and feeder routes to measure travel time and reduce congestion.
Highways Agency Traffic Management director Simon Sheldon-Wilson said that the new sources of data will strengthen the information the agency receives when it comes to traffic conditions.
"This new approach would allow us to work with GPS data, which will give us the most accurate and comprehensive data set to manage traffic flow and clear up incidents as quickly as possible," Sheldon-Wilson added.
"The information used for the M25 scheme is historic, not immediate, but will help us develop improvements targeted to reduce congestion and improve reliability."
The M25 scheme uses data collected by the mobile network operators daily to signal strengths and network coverage.
Applications such as Google maps, satellite navigation devices and smartphones are already using similar sources to collect traffic updates.