There is little doubting the benefits that the Smart Motorway network can bring, and achieving a strong and consistent ‘flow up, incident down’ rate is the destination that everyone is driving towards.
What makes a truly reliable SVD solution?
To be truly effective at mitigating risks, an SVD system must be able to satisfy a challenging list of requirements. It must provide near to instant detection times, and continuous coverage of every possible location on a motorway where a vehicle could stop – including Emergency Areas.
Day and night, it must perform in all possible weather and environmental conditions that may occur on a motorway. From rain, fog and snow, to glare, spray and even smoke, it is in these more challenging conditions that the system is needed the most.
Tried and tested
Pilot studies have already proved the value of an effective system. A recent SVD trial using 27 radar sensors between junctions 5 and 6 on the M25 motorway that circumnavigates London, successfully demonstrated a substantial reduction in the time taken to identify stationary vehicles in all parts of the motorway.
Each sensor monitored a 700-metre stretch of road in both carriageways, covering all lanes and providing detection in any location a vehicle could stop. It detected stationary vehicles within seconds and sent an alert instantly, resulting in a 94% reduction from the original 17-minute average using existing processes. Operators were able to immediately investigate and verify the alert.
The system's benefits impressed the UK Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) and Department for Transport (DFT) who awarded it their Technology Award in 2018.
It’s also no surprise that Norway and Sweden – both ranked European top-three performers in road safety by the World Health Organisation – are long-time advocates of this type of radar technology.