Highways Voices

Paul Hutton

Speaking to the leaders in the highways and transport technology industries, plus catching up with the top stories from the daily newsletters from Highways-News.com. read less
NewsNews

Episodes

Highways Voices 10 April - Looking ahead to Intertraffic Amsterdam 2024 thanks to SWARCO and AGD Systems
Apr 9 2024
Highways Voices 10 April - Looking ahead to Intertraffic Amsterdam 2024 thanks to SWARCO and AGD Systems
This week’s Highways Voices looks ahead to the biggest single event we cover at Highways News - Intertraffic Amsterdam.Ahead of four special podcasts direct from the RAI in Amsterdam thanks to the support of SWARCO and AGD Systems, we find out what we can expect, as we hear from the organiser Carola Jansen-Young and long-term friend of Highways Voices, Richard Neumann of SWARCO.Subscribe to Highways Voices free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or Pocket Casts and never miss an episode!"I think we're close to 900 registered exhibitors, and on top of that, there's a lot of interest from the ITS Nationals that are actually bringing more companies that are members of their organisation over to Intertraffic," explains Carola Jansen-Young. "It's bigger, and not only from the floor surface or the number of organisations participating, but it's definitely also bigger from summit programme perspective, from a demonstration perspective, and as well, all signs indicate that it will also be bigger from an attendee perspective."Having the biggest stand at the huge event is great kudos for SWARCO but a lot of work for the man who organises it, Richard Neumann, who admits to looking forward to midday on Tuesday when the event is up and running and he can relax, and meet the company's clients and friends: "We will look after them as they deserve because they are part of the success of SWARCO," he says. "So there is a big bistro area again on our stand where you can sit down have the meetings with our salespeople, but there is also some culinary delights and drinks from Austria."In the podcast you'll hear about SWARCO's drinks reception on Wednesday from 5-7.30pm including those culinary delights from Austria, and you'll hear what to expect from our daily podcasts and who might turn up on it.There's also our partner news from the Transport Technology Forum, LCRIG, ADEPT and ITS UK, and Adrian Tatum's pick of stories from the Highways News website, along with Adrian's Accolade going this week to the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund for its latest promise of bursaries, and a reminder you can hear from previous Bursary winners on a previous podcast recorded from the Royal Automobile Club last year - click here to listen.See you next week in Amsterdam!
Highways Voices 4 April - real-time road condition data using existing car sensors with Tactile Mobility
Apr 3 2024
Highways Voices 4 April - real-time road condition data using existing car sensors with Tactile Mobility
Sometimes at Highways News, a company pitches for an article or podcast interview that is so intriguing, we just say yes to find out more.Tactile Mobility is one such company, delivering enhanced road data using existing technologies found throughout our cars, utilising AI and sensors to map out road conditions, forecast changes in roadway friction and accurately predict maintenance issues.Subscribe to Highways Voices free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or Pocket Casts and never miss an episode!Podcast guest Boaz Mizrachi, Founder and CTO of Tactile Mobility explains how the solution is based on onboard processing, for offboard understanding: "On one hand, we need a lot of information, okay, large bandwidth of information that exists today in the vehicle, which cannot be uploaded to the cloud due to limits of communication bandwidth, even today, even in the next few years," he says. "So there is a need to have edge computing software that aggregates the same information inside the vehicle gets to the conclusion in the vehicle inside the ECU and only the outcomes, those insights with very low bandwidth transmission can be uploaded to the cloud."He explains how manufacturers have had to collaborate with software providers for four-to-five years before production to integrate software, and that the value of virtual sensor technology lies in providing new features to vehicle manufacturers, who can then sell these features as premium upgrades.The data could also be used for post-accident investigation, if rules around data privacy allows it. "Changing of the friction due to situations like rain... or banking, or curving... this is part of the road signature that we provide with these vehicles," he adds, calling it "surface DNA". "So surface DNA will provide this information that you can analyse".The podcast also features information from our partners the Transport Technology Forum, LCRIG, ADEPT and ITS UK, and you'll also hear why the CAV Forth project wins Adrian's Accolade this week.
Highways Voices 27 March - Darren Capes on £50m traffic signals funding allocation
Mar 27 2024
Highways Voices 27 March - Darren Capes on £50m traffic signals funding allocation
The Department for Transport's Intelligent Transport Systems Policy Lead has praised local authorities and suppliers in their role in providing the evidence needed to justify the latest multi-million pound funding for traffic signals.Subscribe to Highways Voices free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or Pocket Casts and never miss an episode!Speaking on this week's Highways Voices, Darren Capes explains that the total of £70 million allocated in the Government's Plan for Drivers was made possible by the work of authorities who received a share of £15 million to tune up signals in 2021."That 15 million pounds delivered something like like... 300 different traffic schemes in 39 different authorities," he says. "So in terms of actually showing the benefits, showing new equipment going up, showing junctions has been improved, and showing the government that that the authorities would spend this money wisely in the sector and the suppliers were ready and able to do the work - absolutely we proved that we the money would be spent wisely."That led to the £30 million Signal Obsolescence Grant and £20 million more for the Green Light Fund which is being distributed to a hundred authorities across England. In the podcast, Mr Capes discusses how it was allocated and what difference it will make to the travelling public. He also alerts signal engineers to make sure their Chief Executives are alerted so they work on the next steps.He also discusses the excitement of potential of the £20 million for the Intelligent Traffic Management Fund which will be open next week (w/b 1 April) where authorities, supported by their suppliers, can bid for around £2 million of funding to try out new signals technology."This is for research funding, rather than maintenance funding and the aim of the ITMF is to set up a small number of more significantly funded beacon sites around England where we provide funding to authorities to implement the next generation of traffic management," he continues. "Now, again, IMTF does exactly what it says on the tin - it's funding that's intended to allow authorities to procure the next generation of traffic management."Find out how to get involved, and also hear news from our website, our podcast partners ITS UK and ADEPT, and who wins Adrian's Accolade, all on this week's Highways Voices.
Highways Voices 20 March - last mile driverless solutions in Milton Keynes and the future of autonomous technology with Ohmio
Mar 20 2024
Highways Voices 20 March - last mile driverless solutions in Milton Keynes and the future of autonomous technology with Ohmio
"I remember sitting at VicRoads, back in 2012, telling our CEO at the time, cooperative ITS is here, autonomous vehicles are going to be here," comments Dean Zabrieszach of HMI Technologies in Australia and New Zealand on this week's Highways Voices, "We need to deploy equipment all over the countryside, because they'll be here in two or three years - and here we are in 2024, and we haven't quite got there!"Dean joins Paul Hutton to discuss a new driverless pod project in Milton Keynes which brought him from Melbourne in Australia to the UK, and to consider what the autonomous vehicle industry has achieved since the hype of a decade ago, and how the "The biggest hurdle has been the safety aspect that all the agencies, all the authorities, all the jurisdictions want to actually nail down completely."Passengers in Milton Keynes will be able to use the Ohmio self-driving shuttles from as early as October, and Dean discusses why the last mile, slower speed pods have been successful when deployed, while fully automated Level Five vehicles haven't become quite as widespread.He also talks about the technology from the viewpoint of his time as Director of Roads Operations at VicRoads in Victoria, Australia, and whether he'd have embraced the technology: "I think it would have been a tough discussion," he admits. "But if it was a discussion that was seen as being something that was good for Melbourne, good for Victoria, that could ultimately lead to better safety outcomes, I would have had a try - I would have had a go at it."You'll also hear latest news about the ALARM survey, about the traffic signals funding announcement from the Government, and why friends of Highways Voices VESOS and Valerann are among this week's winners of "Adrian's Accolade".
Highways Voices 13 March - Maps make mobility with HERE
Mar 12 2024
Highways Voices 13 March - Maps make mobility with HERE
"The world runs on maps," explains HERE Technologies executive Jason Jameson on this week's Highways Voices, "And if you look at from the early days of creating a map, to find directions, or to map out how to move from place to place, it's always been with us as a society. But if you look at what's happened, there's been this shift to digitisation... and having it more accurate... this is really enabled a lot of the things that we take for granted in society - you couldn't do ride sharing, if you didn't have a digital map, you really would struggle to do e-commerce, and logistics would would start to really become very inefficient without digital maps."In the conversation, the company's Chief Customer Officer explains how maps are put together, kept fresh and keep adding more and more information that can be used by the world's mobility planners and modellers, and Intelligent Transport Systems solutions providers.Subscribe to Highways Voices free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or Pocket Casts and never miss an episode!He explains how these added layers are leading to new solutions to change how we travel, such as the detail needed for Electric Vehicles."That includes things like charge point point of interest search, multi stop routing, you get a range on map, when you look on the screen and say how far can I drive... and has estimated charging times at each charging station," he says. "It's just designed to very simply allow folks now to take their EVs and plan longer journeys and know that they're not going to get stuck without a charging station and know that they have enough energy to get where they need to go."And the data goes further than this - "It isn't just about its distance travelled, it's to do with elevation so the topography - you need to know how steep how big the hills are, you need to know the curvature of the road, you need to know even things like road roughness to determine friction."Jason also discusses autonomous vehicles, the company's latest partnerships with Uber and What3Words and last mile delivery.You also hear news from our partners, including a former Transport Secretary joining the next ITS UK Enforcement Forum, and why a project in the West Midlands wins Adrian's Accolade this week
Highways Voices 6 March - Greener and more efficient deliveries in Westminster thanks to kerbside management
Mar 5 2024
Highways Voices 6 March - Greener and more efficient deliveries in Westminster thanks to kerbside management
This week on Highways Voices we hear how technology is ending the delivery driver free for all as we see a new kerbside management scheme in Westminster.We’re at the site of one of two loading bays in Westminster which Electric Vehicle delivery drivers can book using a new online booking system from Grid Smarter Cities, reducing battery consumption and removing the stress having to drive around finding a place to unload, or having to park illegally.Subscribe to Highways Voices free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or Pocket Casts and never miss an episode!“There’s huge competition for kerbside space,” explains Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, who is Westminster Council’s Cabinet Member for City Management and Air Quality.  “We recognise more than 40 different users of the kerb, and it’s impossible to keep up unless we are on top of it 24 hours, seven days a week. So what we’re trying to do is try new ways of managing the kerb, so that we can keep on top of it, we can keep the city moving, we can reduce congestion.”The Kerb platform allows a driver to pre-book loading and unloading space for up to 90 minutes, 24 hours a day.  This means drivers get surety of a space in advance for delivery drivers, reducing idling and search time and also allowing them to park long enough to make onward deliveries by greener modes, such as by foot or cargo bike.“There’s no driving around looking for a space in a busy central London location, like Covent Garden or Victoria, where we’ve got the first two trials,” Cllr Dimoldenberg continues.  “This gives the distribution companies the ability to pre plan where are they going to park, so they’ve got a defined time to deliver the goods. And they can do it quickly, efficiently and without any fuss or delays.”In the podcast we also hear from the man whose idea this booking system was, Grid Smarter Cities CEO Neil Herron.  He explains that local authorities can use the system now, because it was designed with present laws in mind: “We can use the local authority traffic order procedures to create the experimental or permanent orders, whatever is needed,” he says.  “It doesn't need any new primary legislation or secondary legislation, it can be done with what we have now.”Hear the views, too, of two delivery drivers who were the first to use the new bay, and how Westminster Council plans to assess the scheme’s success to build a business case for rolling out kerbside booking across the whole of the city.You’ll also hear the latest headlines from the Highways News website, news from our partners and who wins Adrian’s Accolade this week.
Highways Voices 28 February - Using AI to make roads safer with VivaCity and West Midlands Combined Authority
Feb 27 2024
Highways Voices 28 February - Using AI to make roads safer with VivaCity and West Midlands Combined Authority
"You can't change behaviour if you don't know what the behaviour is," comments Darren Divall, Regional Road Safety Manager from the West Midlands Combined Authority on this week's Highways Voices. "You can't increase enforcement of speed limits until you know what the reason is why people are speeding, and it might be that that's the behaviour issue, it might be that it's an infrastructure issue where we don't have a very well designed road for the speed limits that we've got or that we've not got a self enforcing environment. So it can be a mixture of things, but the evidence drives everything."So how do you get the evidence? Joining Darren as a guest this week is Flora McFarlane, Head of Growth and Partnerships at VivaCity who discusses a solution using AI to learn about near misses and alert highways managers to where potential crash sites.Subscribe to Highways Voices free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or Pocket Casts and never miss an episode!"We are providing sensors that are continuously monitoring the road space and able to see everything that is going on," she explains. "We can identify lots of different types of road users... and provide insights and analytics based on what's actually happening at real time, and before and after safety interventions. Now, what that means is that we're able to continuously see levels of road danger as well, so we can see interactions such as near misses, problematic passes, dangerous left turns, right turns at junctions, and provide that data to the likes of transport for West Midlands to understand where - and it's a horrible phrase - accidents are waiting to happen."The pair also discuss road safety partnerships and prevention strategies, and issues around funding road safety solutions and how budgets work.You'll also hear some of the latest headlines from the Highways News website, news from our partners including ITMF funding guidance from the Department for Transport and ITS UK's call to the Chancellor ahead of the budget, plus who wins Adrian's Accolade this week.
Highways Voices 21 February - ITMF bidding advice with Darren Capes
Feb 21 2024
Highways Voices 21 February - ITMF bidding advice with Darren Capes
If ever there’s a real must-listen Highways Voices, this is it, as we get a sneak preview of the guidance for the bidding for a share of the £20 million Intelligent Traffic Management Fund with Darren Capes from the Department for Transport.Subscribe to Highways Voices free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or Pocket Casts and never miss an episode!He's currently finishing the guidance at the moment and tells us about what you’ll see in it."I expect each of the winners to use technology in a different way to solve particular problems, whether you're a large urban area with traditional traffic problems we see in urban areas, whether you're a smaller authority wants to use technology to better manage a rural network, or deal with rural exclusion and all kinds of other issues," he says. "I expect each successful bid to be different in flavour, even if it's built on the same core technology."The intelligent traffic management fund gives authorities a chance to deploy advanced technology for traffic signals, using emerging technologies to optimise traffic flow and balanced traffic across city centres. The application process will be underway in April, with applications closing at the end of July."I think what we will come up with here is a whole range of a whole selection box of technologies that people can then go and pick," he says, as he likens them to a box of chocolates in the interview. "If you're if your particular city needs the needs the strawberry cream, that's fine, if it needs if it needs the caramel fondant, that's fine, you can pick what you want from the selection box."Find out what you're going to get, by checking out this podcast, and remember the guidance, when published will be shared with you on Highways News.
Highways Voices 14 February - eco-friendly streetlighting with Live Labs 2 and Clearview Intelligence
Feb 14 2024
Highways Voices 14 February - eco-friendly streetlighting with Live Labs 2 and Clearview Intelligence
"It actually started when we were engaging with Karl at the TTF Conference in Leeds last year, where effectively they were saying that they were looking at bringing in new technologies to complement improved white lining..." explains Ralph Bates of Clearview Intelligence as he explains how he got involved in ADEPT's Live Labs 2 project which was being discussed at a meeting in the East Riding of Yorkshire that Highways News were invited to. "At that point, we started talking about how we were going to sort of roll out this type of solution in replacement to street lighting, based on our history and legacy with route safety solutions, making sure that we start heading towards net zero and Vision Zero initiatives in partnership."Subscribe to Highways Voices free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or Pocket Casts and never miss an episode!The Karl Ralph was referring to is Karl Rourke of East Riding of Yorkshire Council who is leading a future lighting testbed investigating decarbonising and rationalising street lighting, and testing lower carbon alternatives.The solution, he explains, is "using modern technologies around white lining, around signage, and crucially around road studs. So what we've installed currently is white lines that are reportedly by the manufacturer, around 10 times more reflective than standard. And we've installed solar powered illuminated road studs to provide Lane delineation without the need for reliance on reflectivity."The project is looking at how solar road studs can be used instead of streetlighting, cutting carbon and light pollution while maintaining safety. In the podcast Karl and Ralph explain the concepts, explain how they're being implemented using Clearview's SolarLite road studs, and how other authorities across the country will benefit from what has been learned."The locations will be monitored from a safety aspect we will be putting up CCTV cameras, we've developed a system to be able to monitor driver behaviour, both in daylight and in the darkness," Karl Rourke explains. "So we will be keeping a very close eye on on safety and hoping to baseline driver behaviour prior to the straight line being switched off to then compare driver behaviour once it's been switched off and the new interventions are in place to be able to make those decisions and quantify the difference between the two.""Rather than local authorities designing in swathes of street lighting on on new road developments, because that's what they've always done... they can actually now be better informed," Ralph Bates concludes. "We can show that there's a better way of doing things with huge carbon savings [and] huge financial savings."In today's podcast you'll also hear news from our partners and why a cross-council initiative in Essex wins Adrian's Accolade this week.
Highways Voices 7 February - a tour around the world - SWARCO Traffic World
Feb 7 2024
Highways Voices 7 February - a tour around the world - SWARCO Traffic World
Highways Voices returns for a new series today, and we start with a special interview with friend of the programme and regular contributor Richard Neumann of SWARCO.Usually we chat to him in an exhibition hall somewhere in the world, but here we talk at the SWARCO headquarters in Wattens, near Innsbruck in Austria, and take a tour of SWARCO Traffic World, the company’s exhibition of all things transport.Subscribe to Highways Voices free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or Pocket Casts and never miss an episode!"If you talk to the people on the street, they orient themselves at our products every day without knowing that it's SWARCO behind them," Richard explains. "Here, the people come to the SWARCO Traffic World... and then they get introduced into everything you need to know about road marking systems and about intelligent transport systems. And here we have the exhibits, we have hardware, we have software. In the meantime, we even add virtual reality and augmented reality to this room to even explain in a more illustrative way, how SWARCO is managing traffic."You can find all about it without the travel, where you'll hear about road markings, roadside technology and software.In the podcast, you'll also hear about the ADEPT Live Labs event, ITS UK and Transport Technology Forum conferences and why you need to get in quickly to grab a place at LCRIG's two popular events.
Highways Voices 7 December - Driverless vehicles in the here-and-now with Scott Belcher
Dec 7 2023
Highways Voices 7 December - Driverless vehicles in the here-and-now with Scott Belcher
This week on Highways Voices, we talk about real world here-and-now driverless solutions.We're joined by the former President and CEO of ITS America, Scott Belcher who is now Executive Director of ACES Mobility, a group looking to boost last mile Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared journeys with a new American initiative.Subscribe to Highways Voices free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or Pocket Casts and never miss an episode!"Our coalition is laser focused - we're focused on one use case, and that one use case is first and last mile shared use mobility," he explains. "The challenge that we have in the United States is that regulators want to look at autonomous transportation holistically as if it's all the same. And when you look at first and last mile shared use mobility, you're talking about a very unique use case and a very defined solution."Scott explains some of the examples of where public ACES solutions are now in regular operation rather than simply trials or demonstrators."We're now seeing that the deployments are being placed in places where people actually use them," he explains. "There's a lot that goes into the public outreach. There's a lot that goes into the outreach to first responders. There's a lot that goes into safety information. And there's a lot that goes into making sure that the routes are actually needed and can be used."You'll also hear how people elsewhere in the world can get involved and learn from what the project is doing.On top of this, we have our partner news, some headlines from the Highways News website and who wins the last Adrian's Accolade of 2023.
Highways Voices 29 November - Counting Carbon emissions with Simon Wilson of FHRG
Nov 29 2023
Highways Voices 29 November - Counting Carbon emissions with Simon Wilson of FHRG
This week on Highways Voices talk about the new guidance for local highways authorities about consistent carbon measurement and reporting, that includes Scope 3 emissions.Simon Wilson from the Future Highways Research Group updates us about guidance around consistent carbon measurement and reporting. He joined in March last year to talk about Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions measurement, and is now back to talk about his work looking at Scope 3.Subscribe to Highways Voices free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or Pocket Casts and never miss an episode!Scope 1 covers direct carbon emissions from Local Authority-owned or controlled sources, Scope 2 is all about indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating, and cooling consumed by the authority while Scope 3addresses supply chain emissions, including emissions from purchased goods and services."It comes with a cluster of problems on the basis that the supply chains are typically really very complicated," Mr Wilson explains. "Especially for highways authorities - they're multi tiered, you have multi disciplines and multiple disciplines across the supply chain. So you have different people doing different things with different materials using different processes, working seasonally, and you also have a huge diversity of readiness, some supply chain partners are very ready to report carbon, but probably not in a consistent way."In the chat he talks about the work done alongside ADEPT, what the value is in quantifying emissions and how it will have an effect on decision making in the future.You'll also hear why National Highways wins Adrians Accolade, and, in our partner news, about more help for local authorities around bidding for a share of the Government's £70 million traffic signals funding.
Highways Voices 15 November - an update on the £70m signals funding with Darren Capes
Nov 15 2023
Highways Voices 15 November - an update on the £70m signals funding with Darren Capes
Last month, the Transport Secretary Mark Harper announced £70 million of investment to deliver a raft of measures to make traffic signals more efficient, including the replacement of old equipment, a new “Green Light Fund” and new technology to better manage city centre traffic. This is being described as “the biggest investment in traffic signals in decades”.Subscribe to Highways Voices free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or Pocket Casts and never miss an episode!On this week's Highways Voices we get an update on the application process. With letters and guidance being sent to council Chief Officers across England, we hear from ITS Policy Lead at the Department for Transport Darren Capes.Darren gave an update to the Transport Technology Forum Autumn update meeting yesterday, 14 November."There isn't an 87 page questionnaire to fill in," he explains. "For those of you that filled in the funding process for 2020-21 for TSM [Traffic Signals Maintenance grants], you will remember we asked you seven questions to probe your understanding of your network, probe your policy framework, probe your readiness to deliver we'll do the same thing we will ask questions that allow you to provide us with evidence."As well as Chief Officers, councils’ signals managers will be contacted by the Department for Transport in the coming days, urging them to consider which funds they wish to apply for. The Transport Technology Forum is working with by the Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG) to manage the challenge process on behalf of the DfT.Read the guidance here.You'll also hear news from the sector and our partners, and who wins "Adrian's Accolade" this week.