Net Zero ambitions will only be achieved through challenging the norm and making difficult decisions. This applies to all aspects of life from powering our homes and businesses, to the way in which we travel. Road networks are at the centre of this global challenge; carbon emitted from vehicles using roads is one challenge, the other relates to embodied carbon in the vast infrastructure requirements to safely operate networks. Digital transformation is however, changing the ecosystem in which roads are operated, this disruption offers opportunities to rethink our approach to network operation.
As digital begins to facilitate new operational models for road transport, the need for roadside assets changes. Information provision is one such example; through advancements in vehicle technology, content is accessible to drivers at the touch of a button, is there still a role for roadside messaging or can the industry transition towards in-vehicle systems that pave the way for more environmentally focused networks.
In this downloadable paper, WSP explores the considerations needed across the whole system, that if addressed would support the successful transition to greener roads and support achievement of Net Zero ambitions.
Download the paper on the right.
Setting the context
Achieving Net Zero across road networks is a common focus and challenge globally. This paper explores how one component of the shift could be realised using a whole system approach. The paper uses England's motorway network as the primary use case, but the findings are equally applicable across road networks worldwide where roadside technology forms a key component of the operational regime.
As set out in National Highways vision for Digital Roads, adoption of an ever growing fleet of connected and autonomous vehicles will shape a new motorway network, one that is less reliant on roadside assets to support the safe and smooth flow of traffic. Shifting away from roadside technology also has significant benefits for decarbonising the network, contributing to two of National Highways key objectives set out in their Net Zero Highways plan; corporate emissions (specifically use of electricity) and maintenance and construction emissions (from not having to build, maintain and renew assets).