The challenge

We're always looking for ways to use our existing infrastructure to push out information about traffic updates, speed limits and diversions – helping vehicles to plan journeys more effectively. This is a key part of our Digital Strategy.

Technology has emerged in recent years that allows us to make wider use of our lighting infrastructure. The roll-out of 5G and the IoT (Internet of Things) makes it practical to equip lights with devices such as wireless access points and cameras.

​The project​

Together with Kier Highways, we carried out a proof-of-concept trial on the Illuminate intelligent street lighting system at M40 junction 15 Longbridge roundabout near Birmingham. ​

We installed CCTV and communications technology in street lamps at the same time as we upgraded them to greener, more energy efficient LED lighting.

The Illuminate trial took place over five months in 2021 and successfully proved the concept. The technology was able to communicate data to office equipment and tablet computers.

Installing communication technology when we replace street lighting is efficient and safe. It's also less disruptive to the public, as it reduces the number of road closures we need.​

​The knowledge gained from the trial will help to shape our strategy for managing the Connected and Autonomous (CAV) infrastructure.

road lighting
Technology advances now allow us to use lighting infrastructure to house communications equipment
Illuminate trial
Installing communications kit when changing lighting is safe, efficient and less disruptive

Innovation theme

Connected & autonomous vehicle