Driver messaging platform is being trialled on M6

Midlands Connect’s head of strategy, Richard Bradley.

A £1m driver messaging platform is being trialled on the M6 and M6 Toll.

The system will provide greater intelligence to drivers, with potential to be used anywhere on the transport system.

Midlands Connect and the Department for Transport granted the money to run the pilot on the M6 and M6 Toll, replicating the variable message advisory signs warning of queues and congestion.

These messages are delivered to cars directly so drivers are increasingly aware of what is happening on the transport system and potential alternatives.

Midlands Connect’s head of strategy, Richard Bradley, said: “We are seeing an evolution in the way technology can assist travellers by helping to optimise routes and schedules and monitor conditions in real time.

“This work is part of a wider project between TfWM, National Highways, M6 Toll Ltd, and the Department for Transport, looking at delivering in-vehicle messaging.

“A small cohort of vehicles has been used to test the system and it is demonstrating the most effective types of messages, with the potential to bring massive societal benefits.”

The messages are similar to the types of information delivered by smartphone mapping but published by national public bodies rather than tech companies.

This will provide better information on access to public as well as private assets, like train services and private roads such as the M6 Toll, giving critical information at the right time.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) head of innovation, Chris Lane, said: “This is an exciting time in transport, we can see how this technology will benefit drivers, help us manage the traffic flow and make our network more efficient.

“We hope to scale this trial up across the region, combining traffic intelligence and innovative technology to improve the driving experience in the West Midlands and beyond.”

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