The global engineering consultancy and ITS (UK) member Arup has been awarded up to £30,000 by the government’s National Infrastructure Commission to test and develop a new street design for connected and autonomous vehicles – FlexKerbs.
Flexkerbs looks at how connected and autonomous vehicles can co-exist with all road users, and the future management of the side-of-the-road, through the introduction of flexible kerb space.
Driven by real-time data and local policy, FlexKerbs will intelligently alter kerb space throughout the day and week to ensure that space meets demand. Over the course of a day, for instance, a single FlexKerb segment can function as an autonomous vehicle rank at rush hour, a cycle path at lunchtime, a pedestrian plaza the evening and a loading zone overnight.
The funds have been awarded as part of the National Infrastructure Commission’s Roads for the Future competition. Arup’s study was shortlisted out of 81 entrants by a judging panel including Sir John Armitt.
The team now have three months to develop a feasibility study to demonstrate how it could benefit cities, using the funding to simulate the scheme on a typical London high street.