Highways Agency to feed TomTom up to date traffic information
The Highways Agency has reached agreement with TomTom to feed up to date traffic information from England’s motorways and major A roads into its sat nav services for road users.
The Highways Agency, which manages the 4,300-mile strategic road network, collects data on traffic flows from sophisticated monitoring equipment built into the road surface, backed up by CCTV and other sources.
This data, which is already provided to drivers through the Agency’s own channels, will be fed to TomTom for its High Definition Traffic Services and is expected to be particularly beneficial to families heading off on holiday over the next few months.
Roads Minister Mike Penning says: “Through our national traffic control centre, we source up to the minute traffic data from the motorways and other major roads we manage, and we want to get that information out to road users where and when they need it most.
“This agreement between the Highways Agency and TomTom is a good example of public and private sectors working together to assist road users and exploit today’s technology.
“We work with third party organisations to get our information to as wide an audience as possible. We have also shared our information with GoogleMaps and the BBC who provide our traffic camera images so road users can check on the internet before they leave. We look forward to working with other partners in the future.”
The Highways Agency is an established traffic information provider, with its own live traffic updates fed through on platforms such as its own and third party websites, as well as feeding data to mobiles, iPhone, digital information screens and Twitter.
The Highways Agency provides its traffic information to TomTom in a Datex II format, which it helped develop as a European standard specifically for road data information exchange. The Agency data provides real-time traffic information and predictions based on past conditions, helping road users to plan their journeys to avoid congestion.
The data, provided by the Agency’s National Traffic Control Centre in Birmingham, is also used to populate the Highways Agency’s own website highways.gov.uk/traffic. Using this site, drivers can see current and predicted driving conditions, view what is currently being displayed on electronic motorway signs and even tell the average traffic speed between any two junctions on the motorway network.