Scale up talking traffic development, DfT report says

Chris Ames

Transport technology experts have urged ministers to ‘pick up and run with’ the findings of a new report that calls for a step change in work to exploit connected vehicle (CV) data.

The report on the Department for Transport’s (DfT) connected vehicle data research argues that anonymous data generated by ‘talking traffic’ technology could be used by highway authorities to reduce traffic congestion, boost road maintenance and improve transport planning – ‘all at a lower cost to the taxpayer’.

Vodafone is to build a private 5G network for HORIBA MIRA

There is much untapped data that can be exploited quickly to improve roads the report argues, citing smarter parking, reduced congestion and better information as ‘things that people want and are already feasible’.

It also suggests there are ‘cashable savings to be made in the short-term from both smarter parking and asset management’, an area where the UK is leading globally.

However, it also finds that ‘a cultural change is needed, and commitment to accelerate the use of CV data’, arguing that ‘institutions, organisations and business models’, rather than technology, are the key barriers.

The report states: ‘While there have been many successful trial projects demonstrating this potential, the next step must be on a much bigger scale, with multiple services, a large geographical extent and real drivers.'

The Transport Technology Forum (TTF) called the research ‘a big step forward’ and said it ‘shows that technology will be at the core of tomorrow’s transport network’.

Steve Gooding, chair of the TTF and director of the RAC Foundation, said: ‘We’ve all heard a great deal about the potential benefits to be gained from our vehicles being increasingly connected, but not so much about what those benefits are or how they are to be achieved.

‘This report takes us a big step forward in understanding what’s on offer and proposes a strategy for the way ahead, complementing our recent RAC Foundation report on the conditions needed to exploit connectivity. I sincerely hope the Department for Transport has the capacity and the appetite for picking up this strategy and running with it.’

The research was carried out by Atkins and Jacobs, supported by Andy Graham of White Willow Consulting, who led the consultation part of the project.

Mr Graham said: ‘We need to move from isolated technology pilots to at-scale services, and this work is important to the TTF since it has been developed with UK local authorities very much in mind.’

The report identified six key themes for a potential strategy:

  • Talking Traffic Partnership UK: ‘The DfT should set up an at-scale demonstrator to stimulate the growth of CV data use and demonstrate the benefits to stakeholders and public.’
  • Establishing and exploiting national facilities: ‘The DfT should provide national facilities where this will drive progress, for example, national procurements to gain efficiencies and providing a focal point for stakeholder engagement.
  • Readiness of people and organisations: ‘Training and support should be provided for roads authorities, to address skills and knowledge gaps and the need for cultural change, both of which are barriers to the greater use of CV data.’
  • Migration and legacy: Road authorities should be supported by the DfT to make the best use of their existing ITS and asset management technology while migrating to CV data.
  • Business case and procurement advice: Assistance should be provided by the DfT for roads authorities, so they can successfully generate investment and procure CV data or services.
  • National CV data service design guidance: Service design guidance and standards should be created to provide road authorities with the information they need to design and implement CV data services.


Also see


Latest Issue

latest magazine issue


  • Smart motorways' BCR problem
  • New lighting decision support tool



View the latest issue

Highways jobs

Parks Officer

£28,452 -£34,479 depending on skills and experience
Do you have experience of managing grounds maintenance contracts? Are you passionate about parks?    Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Transport Infrastructure Commissioning Manager

£47,391 per annum
We have an exciting opportunity for a Transport Infrastructure Commissioning Manager to join our Highways and Transport Service. Taunton, Somerset
Recruiter: Somerset County Council

Traffic Management Coordination Officer x 2 posts

£27,049 - £30,564
There’s never been a more exciting time to join Doncaster Council. Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Recruiter: Doncaster Council

Local Highway Officer

£22,183 - £32,234
The Local Highway Officer role is an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic individual looking to join our highways team. Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Operations Manager, Street Services

£55.017 - £58.242
This is an ideal opportunity for you to join the Royal Borough of Greenwich and make a real impact.   Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Highway Engineer - Reactive Maintenance

£35,354 - £40,506 incl. LWA, plus £963 car allowance
We make a difference to the environment we live in. Come and help us manage our highway infrastructure. Bracknell, Berkshire
Recruiter: Bracknell Forest Borough Council

Maintenance Manager

£43,857 to £47,782
We are currently looking for a strong candidate to take up the role of Maintenance Manager at Area 6 Boroughbridge. Boroughbridge, York
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Engineer Sustainable Development

£32,234 - £36,922 per annum
To help support this key area of work, we are looking for an enthusiastic, experienced and forward thinking Engineer to... Stafford, Staffordshire
Recruiter: Staffordshire County Council

Senior Engineer (Streetscene)

£40,632 - £45,594
We are looking for 2 Senior Engineers to join our team to help deliver effective Capital and Revenue investments programmes to... Hackney, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Hackney London Borough Council

Neighbourhood Highway Officers - West and North

£28,672 per annum
We are seeking a recruit two Neighbourhood Highway Officers (NHO), to be based in Okehampton and Tiverton, Devon. Devon
Recruiter: Devon County Council

Warehouse Assistant/Driver

£20,903 - £24,491 per annum
The successful applicants will work as part of a team in a busy work environment to carry out warehouse and... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recruiter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Planning Policy Manager

£61.470 - £64.704
Be part of Greenwich's vision to successfully accommodate a high level of sustainable growth, which... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Refuse Driver (Rolling Advert - applications checked weekly)

£30.032 - £31.610
It is an exciting time in Street Services at the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Be part of a team who are... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Traffic Engineer

£32,301 - £37,491
We are currently looking for an experienced Traffic Engineer to join our Design & Engineering team.  London (Greater)
Recruiter: Hackney London Borough Council

Apprentice Civil Engineering Technician

This opportunity is primarily based out of our West Offices in the heart of York. York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

Refuse Driver

£30032 - £31610 per annum + (amount shown is salary plus allowances)
Refuse Driver (LGV Chargehand Driver)(starting total pay of £30,032 - this is made up of the base grade salary plus contractual overtime and allowance England, London, Woolwich
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Corporate Director (Environment, Communities & Leisure)

Up to £83,424 (pay award pending)
As one of our two Corporate Directors reporting to the Chief Executive to form our Senior Leadership Team your... Gedling, Nottingham
Recruiter: Gedling Borough Council

Senior Infrastructure Engineer

£45.834 - £56.141
This is a great role in a vibrant and growing team; we’re looking for people with significant experience in... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Roads Technician

£18,812 - £23,791
This is a great opportunity for you to join Lincolnshire County Council's Technical Services Partnership as... Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Roads Engineer

£25,991 - £35,745
We are looking for people to join one of our three Roads teams, made up of around 30 friendly and enthusiastic professionals. Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Highways Presents

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Video