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Cars of the future need readable roads

3 December 2013

 New cars today do more to protect life than vehicles just 10 years ago, and by 2025, half of the cars on the road in Europe will be capable of “reading” signs and markings. The need for good, consistent signs and markings for drivers remains unchanged since motoring history began. Now vehicles, like drivers, will not function well where road markings and signs are worn out, inconsistent or confusing. This means putting an end to the different fonts, colours, sizes and shapes that are seen in even the most basic, internationally standardised safety signs such as “stop” and “give way”. It means standardising the width of white lines and the amount of light they reflect – and ensuring the edges of major roads are marked.

“Roads that cars can read”, a report published today by EuroRAP and Euro NCAP, makes important reading for those who maintain Europe’s roads of economic importance. It says that the majority of travel – and road deaths – occur on these roads which comprise just 10 per cent of the network. Inadequate maintenance and differences in road markings and traffic signs are now a major obstacle to the effective use of technology in vehicles, such as lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition.
 

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