Navtech’s ClearWay SVD to be rolled out on smart motorways
Following successful trials of ITS (UK) member Navtech Radar’s innovative ClearWay stopped vehicle detection technology, it is now being deployed on more roads across the UK as part of Highways England’s programme to enhance safety on motorways where the hard shoulder has been converted to a traffic lane.
Navtech Radar, the Oxfordshire-based designer and manufacturer of radar solutions for critical infrastructure, has won a competitive tender to supply its ClearWay stopped vehicle detection (SVD) technology across more of the UK’s strategic road network. The radar- based solution identifies – within 10 seconds – vehicles that have stopped on a smart motorway, helping to reduce secondary incidents and provide advanced warning to approaching drivers.
Why is stopped vehicle detection being rolled out to existing UK all lane running smart motorways?
The programme is part of Highways England’s commitment to making smart motorways even safer, and helping drivers feel confident using them. To start the nationwide upgrade, Navtech, which is part of Halma the FTSE100 group of life-saving technology companies,
will install 26 radars on the M20 J3-5 by the end of March 2021. The award of this contract to Navtech follows a successful trial of its SVD solution on two smart motorway sections of the M25.
How does stopped vehicle detection work?
ClearWay technology automatically alerts operators to any stationary vehicle within ten seconds of it stopping. This enables a fast response. With early detection, operators can immediately close lanes, warn oncoming drivers, and alert emergency services. Being radar- based, ClearWay works in all conditions, including those where accidents are most likely such as fog, snow, heavy rain and total darkness. Its long-range, 360° detection, provides comprehensive coverage of all lanes, in all directions, with minimal infrastructure – meaning less disruption to road users when it is being installed. ClearWay can also deliver additional features to road authorities, such as traffic flow and behaviour analysis using the data collected by its radar sensors.
Philip Avery, Founder and Managing Director of the Oxfordshire based Navtech Radar, believes that SVD deployment will make a big difference to the country’s smart motorways. ‘ClearWay has already proved its value on highways around the world, and we know it helps get assistance to drivers more quickly. We are delighted to be deploying it at scale here in the UK.’
The ability of the radar-based solution to identify stationary vehicles in under ten seconds is a major advance in response times and road safety. Previously, detection and response could take several minutes; ClearWay’s SVD means drivers spend less time stranded in live lanes. As well as getting assistance to drivers more quickly and with clear benefits in terms of safety, it also helps traffic flow, by ensuring incidents are cleared quickly.
Nationwide roll-out of SVD
The use of ClearWay technology is part of Highways England’s programme of improvements, which will see radar SVD installed on all existing all-lane smart motorways by the end of March 2023. The contract could lead to the deployment of up to 700 Navtech radars.
Philip Avery is pleased to see this safety technology being rolled out on more of the UK’s smart motorway network, particularly given the company’s firm belief that ‘safety is everything’. ‘At Navtech we are delighted to be working with Highways England on a project that will greatly enhance driver safety on the UK’s motorways. We hope that drivers will be reassured by the capability of our radar technology – which has been used in critical safety applications for over 20 years’ he says.
(Picture – Navtech Radar)