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Digital Roads of the Future


One of the challenges for Digital Roads is addressing how we will efficiently communicate with smart materials, monitor their performance, and proactively apply corrective action. For this reason, we need to address sensing, monitoring, maintenance/repair, and communication in our overarching Digital Roads concept.

The Automation and Robotic research theme will include methods for sensing geometrical, quality, and condition data of expressways, in part by exploiting the smart material properties at TRL2. The sensing challenge also includes fusions of sensor modalities (laser, infra- red, vision and electro-magnetic signals) to interpret the road conditions for monitoring purposes, and to derive the information needed for the digital processes by the digital product at TRL3.

The robotics technologies will employ adaptive monitoring strategies to manage the scale of monitoring and repair, such as pro-active selective data capturing and prediction-based defect search algorithms that fully take advantage of the DR concept. 


Digital Roads Annual Review 2023 & research update

On 8 September 2023, Digital Roads held their first annual review. You can watch the research update here.  A research poster was created to illustrate the work carried out by the Automation & Robotics team in the first year. 

Also relevant to the Digital Roads development is work undertaken in our uniting theme of Delivering Impact. The Delivering Impact research poster can be seen here.