Smart Highways and the Future of the Hard Shoulder?



As we move forward into a world of smart cars and smart highways, this warning from AA, via the Guardian, is a good reminder that there's still work to be done and conversations to be had about how safety will play a part in our high tech future. One potential feature of safe highways is the elimination of hard shoulders in favour of more emergency rest stops. But AA raises some important concerns, like what the lack of a hard shoulder will mean for emergency vehicles or for vehicles that aren't able to make it to the emergency rest stop.


"Smart motorways are part of a plan by Highways England to reduce congestion. The routes feature technology designed to motor traffic levels, change speed limits and close lanes to allow emergency vehicles through."

An important aspect of driving is realizing that problems and emergencies can arise suddenly. Being a safe driver means learning how to drive defensively, but external things like the road environment play an important part of road safety. Hopefully as we move forward, how we accommodate human error and unexpected emergencies will play a part in the conversation.


You can read more about the move towards smart highways in England and what AA has to say in Ben Quinn's piece in the Guardian.


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