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New tech to wipe £14bn off UK car insurance premiums

£150m connected roads trial to go live next year. The technology and driver assistance systems will have a huge impact on car insurance premiums.

Radar, WiFi roads and autonomous cars will be trialled in the UK by the end of 2017 as part of a £150million Government project. Unveiled by Highways England, the strategy will run until 2021, and advances in this driver assistance tech are expected to reduce car insurance premiums by more than £14billion.

Included in the UK trials is a connected corridor on the A2/M2 between London and Kent, where information will be transferred wirelessly to specially adapted vehicles and passed on to other cars suggesting changing lanes or alternative routes.

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Radar technology will be set up on motorways and in tunnels – specifically the Hindhead Tunnel in Surrey – to improve breakdown detection, while sensors will be placed on bridges and roads to speed up maintenance.

Autonomous cars, adaptive traffic lights at junctions depending on time of day and A-road expressways with free-flowing traffic also make up the major Highways England investment.

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The Innovation Strategy is part of the UK’s drive to be a leader in automated car technology, and a new report published by mapping firm HERE and insurer Swiss Re says advancements by 2020 will cut insurance premiums by £14billion.

It’s expected that annual production of driver assistance systems fitted to cars will surpass 180 million units by 2020; that’s 1.7 systems per vehicle produced globally.

Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan said: “We will work with our partners in the supply chain, technology specialists and the automotive industry to trial new tech that will help make journeys safer, more reliable and better informed.”

New road technology trial: how it will be used

Smart Info – Expressways will be developed on A-roads to encourage free-flowing traffic with modernised junctions, refuge areas and live journey info

Repairs – Sensors will provide info on the condition of roads, bridges and tunnels to allow targeted maintenance. This will save money on road repairs

Breakdown – Radar detection used in tunnels and motorways will monitor traffic and notify control centres within seconds of a vehicle becoming stationary

Cars – Latest journey info could be wirelessly transmitted directly to vehicles to suggest lane changes or alternative routes

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