Indian state Uttar Pradesh to build $5.05bn Ganga Expressway

The Government of Uttar Pradesh (UP) in India approved construction of the 600km Ganga Expressway.

Estimated to cost Rs360bn ($5.05bn), the expressway is claimed to be the world’s longest and aims to provide better connectivity of Allahabad with the western districts of UP.

After a state cabinet meeting, chief minister Yogi Adityanath told reporters that the expressway will run from Meerut, heading through Amroha, Badaun, Farrukhabad, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, and Pratapgarh before reaching Allahabad.

Volvo JV gets approval to test hands-free self-driving cars in Sweden

Veoneer and Volvo Cars’ joint venture Zenuity secured permission from the Swedish Transport Agency Transportstyrelsen to launch trials of hands-off autonomous cars on highways in Sweden.

Trials will be carried out by trained drivers, taking their hands off the steering wheel at a maximum speed of 80km/h.

Approved testing routes are the E4 between Stockholm and Malmö, road 40 between Jönköping and Gothenburg, as well as the E6 between Gothenburg and Malmö.

Transurban to invest $1bn to expand four highways in Virginia, US

Australian toll road operator Transurban signed contracts to invest $1bn in four road projects along Interstate 495 and Interstate 95 in northern Virginia, US.

The projects are expected to cut traffic congestion and improve connectivity on I-495 and I-95, including the Occoquan Auxiliary Lane.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said: “My administration is committed to creating opportunity for Virginia families and businesses in every corner of the Commonwealth, and that requires having a safe, reliable transportation network.

“I am pleased to announce these four projects that will bring significant improvements to I-495 and I-95, easing congestion, enhancing safety, and driving economic growth.”

Turkish Parliament approves $3.5bn Great Istanbul Tunnel

The Turkish Parliament approved construction of the $3.5bn Great Istanbul Tunnel, a three-level subsea tunnel under the city’s Bosphorus Strait.

The project will be built under the build-operate-transfer model. It will connect the two sides of Istanbul with one railway and two highways.

Construction plans of the Great Istanbul Tunnel were also handed to Istanbul Mayor’s Office, reported news agency Trend.

MIT and Microsoft develop technology for self-driving cars safety

Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Microsoft developed artificial intelligence (AI) based technology to cover ‘blind spots’ in self-driving cars.

The new model leverages human input and helps self-driving cars avoid dangerous errors in the real world.

According to researchers, this model would enable engineers to enhance the safety of AI systems such as self-driving cars and autonomous robots.

ADB provides $200m loan to upgrade rural roads in Bangladesh

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an agreement to provide a loan of $200m to Bangladesh to upgrade its rural road network.

The agreement was signed by Bangladesh Government’s Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Monowar Ahmed and ADB country director Manmohan Parkash.

Parkash said: “The assistance supports the government’s priority of delivering urban services in rural areas by increasing connectivity, providing greater access to social services and markets, and promoting the agriculture sector, benefiting over 51.5 million people.”

DropCar to integrate STEER Tech’s autonomous vehicle technology

Self-parking technology company STEER Tech signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with app-based parking and valet services provider DropCar to develop autonomous vehicle solutions.

Under the MoU, STEER Tech will integrate its autonomous vehicle technology into DropCar’s Mobility Cloud platform.

The collaboration will enable fleet owners, dealers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), retailers, and shared mobility companies to gain access to autonomous technologies.

UK residents insist on smart traffic solutions to slash travel time

Nearly 74% of UK residents demanded smart traffic solutions to cut travel time and reduce congestion, according to a report by security firm ATG Access.

Residents are experiencing substantial traffic congestion due to an ever-increasing number of vehicles on the UK’s roads. According to an estimate, around 37.5 million vehicles were registered in the UK in 2017.

The research has been conducted as part of ATG’s ‘Smart cities: Turning the dream into a reality’ report. It highlights urbanisation problems that could be solved through the adoption of specific smart city concepts.

Qatar opens tunnel at Gharrafat Al Rayyan Interchange

Qatar’s public works authority Ashghal opened a uni-directional tunnel with one lane at Gharrafat Al Rayyan Interchange on Al Luqta Street.

The 1km tunnel forms part of the Dukhan Highway East project. It is intended to help direct free-flow connectivity from Gharrafat Al Rayyan to Doha.

Nearly 2,000 vehicles an hour can move through the new tunnel. As a result, travellers will also benefit from a 30% reduction in travel time.

FMCSA permits vehicles to replace mirrors with camera technology

The US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) approved an exemption application from Stoneridge that will allow trucks to operate with its camera technology instead of conventional rear-vision mirrors.

The approval will enable any commercial vehicle to install Stoneridge’s MirrorEye Camera Monitor System (CMS) instead of rear-vision mirrors currently required in the US.

It will run for a period of five years and enable MirrorEye-equipped trucks to operate with an integrated system of cameras and digital displays as an alternative to conventional rear-vision mirrors.