Atkins explores the benefits of 5G connectivity for British roads
Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, will be carrying out a 5G feasibility study to explore the benefits of increased investment in upgrading the connectivity on UK roads. The study will identify the short- and medium-term demand for connectivity, to ensure the road network is fit for the future.
SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business were appointed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) in the first step of the Government’s £5m plan to improve future productivity through trialling 5G connectivity on the road network. The feasibility study is due to be completed in December 2018. SNC-Lavalin acquired WS Atkins plc on July 3, 2017.
Upgrading the digital infrastructure on the UK’s roads will offer transport users more reliable and consistent connectivity. The increased capabilities will also help to future-proof the country’s infrastructure, as Connected and Autonomous Vehicles become more commonplace on our roads.
Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries said: “We’re carefully considering the best ways for both new and existing infrastructure to deliver 5G connectivity for a Britain that’s fit for the future. I want this feasibility study, and any trials that may follow it, to help both Government and industry solve some of the key challenges to deploying 5G infrastructure on our roads.”
Fraser Sommerville, project director in the transportation division of SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business comments: “The feasibility study will examine how to best future-proof the transport network, as technology advances and the demand for connectivity continues to grow. By the end of the study, we hope to have a clearer view of transport users’ future needs, and new business models for attracting commercial investment into the upgrade of our road network’s digital infrastructure.”
SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business will work in partnership with Real Wireless and White Willow to carry out the feasibility study, as well as collaborating closely with mobile network operators (MNOs) and Highways England, to determine the potential for investment into connectivity improvements.
Stakeholders from a wider range of organisations will also be involved, to provide their perspective on future demand and alternative commercial models that can secure funding for the improvement of connectivity.
The study will examine the potential of a trial in the West Midlands.