Driving a digital revolution of our road network: Digital Roads of the Future Initiative

The Digital Roads of the Future (DRF) Initiative at the University of Cambridge is leading the way in the digital revolution of our vital road network, a once-in-a-century transformation to make roads safer and greener.

The initiative involves more than 50 researchers at Cambridge, supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA), National Highways, Costain and other 22 industry partners. The researchers explore how digital twins, smart materials, data science and robotic monitoring can work together to develop a connected physical and digital road infrastructure system.

The vision is to deliver resilient roads that can measure and monitor their own performance over time. By 2030, the outcomes will be developed to a commercial stage and follow the same development journey for other road assets such as bridges and tunnels, followed by the entire strategic road network by 2040. This presentation will give an outline of the programme and the current research projects within the initiative.

Dr Mahendrini Ariyachandra, Digital Roads of the Future (DRF) Programme Manager, University of Cambridge

Dr Mahendrini Ariyachandra holds a PhD in Engineering from the University of Cambridge, which focused on the Geometric Digital Twin Generation of Rail Infrastructure. Prior to joining as a DRF programme manager, Mahendrini worked as an Assistant Professor in Construction Management at Kingston University, London.

She has been in academia teaching and researching digital twins in the built environment, building information modelling, construction automation and informatics, smart cities and construction economics at the University of Cambridge (UK), Aston University (UK), British Centre of Applied Studies (Qatar) and University of Moratuwa (Sri Lanka).