Highways England has utilised Crown Commercial Service’s traffic management technology offering to rollout connected and autonomous vehicles across the UK.
Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) will improve gathering and dissemination of data, together with better information provision, leading to better informed drivers and improved journeys. In the longer term, increasing automation will enhance road safety, efficiency and reduce congestion. The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) have announced £100m of funding for CAV testing environments, of which Highways England is leading two projects – UK CITE and the A2/M2 Connected Corridor. The projects form part of the Department for Transport’s CAV strategy and Highways England’s Innovation Fund to help strengthen the UK as a global centre for the fast-growing intelligent mobility market, estimated to be worth £900 billion per year globally by 2025.
In order to realise the real world CAV testing on the Strategic Road Network, Highways England required a flexible resource pool of skilled and experienced experts in vehicular communications, cyber security, in-vehicle systems, traffic data management, and business models. Highways England also ensured that the contract could be utilised by Transport for London, Department for Transport and Kent County Council (its partners for the A2/M2 Connected Corridor) in order to aggregate demand.
Highways England ran a competition via Lot 12 (Traffic Management Technology Professional Services) of the Crown Commercial Service Traffic Management Technology 2 (RM1089) framework in 2017.
Highways England conducted pre-market engagement with suppliers on the framework, particularly CAV domain experts, to gain feedback on the requirements. Engineering professional services firm WSP was commissioned by Highways England to drive forward its CAV programme.
The contract has a maximum contract term of 4 years and an initial contract value of circa £1.5m. Due to the scope of Contracting Authorities permitted to use the framework, Highways England was able to aggregate its demand with its other CAV project partners, resulting in reduced day rates and a reduced contract management overhead.
WSP will work closely with Highways England, the Department for Transport, and other transport authorities such as Transport for London and Kent County Council to rollout a world class ecosystem for connected and autonomous vehicles across the UK.
As part of this project, a team of specialists at WSP, supported by its supply chain partners, will provide a range of services including programme management, design of CAV technology solutions, vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure communications, system architecture design, data and cyber security solutions, trials evaluation, business case development, road safety case development, and data analysis and modelling.