Aylesbury firm looks to the future of road safety through cat’s eyes

One of the Valerann's new cat's eyes.
One of the Valerann's new cat's eyes.

An innovative company in Buckinghamshire is hoping to improve road safety by using new technology to radically alter ‘cat’s eyes’.

The new generation of road technology is being pioneered by Valerann, based at Westcott Venture Park, in Aylesbury, which is working with agencies such as Highways England.

The firm is using roads around the park as a testing ground for its traffic management system that uses ‘cat’s eyes’ to collect and share information.

The enhanced ‘cat’s eyes’ have a wireless sensor that senses when there are vehicles nearby, assesses risks and gauges weather conditions. The information is sent wirelessly to the Valerann operators.

Michael Vardi, co-founder and Chief Business Officer of Valerann, said: “We are able to identify risks in real time such as a car driving dangerously or going the wrong way. Once we detect this we inform the road operators and alert authorities if necessary.

“We can also use the lighting systems in the ‘cat’s eyes’ to send drivers messages. For example, we can turn them blue to show icy roads or make a single lane red to signal the road is closed.”

“We are able to recreate the exact driving pattern of every vehicle so we can track where they are within or along the lane and how they interact with other vehicles.”

“With this information we can help road operators manage the biggest infrastructure on earth. They manage life and death situations every day but don’t always have the tools to do that comprehensively everywhere.”

Nigel MacKenzie, Westcott Venture Park Project Manager, said: “Valerann is conducting vital research into the next generation of road technology and we are delighted to be able to provide a platform for its testing.

“Westcott is ideal for this kind of programme because it is a secure site with an established regulatory and safety regime suitable for testing a wide variety of systems.”