Queensland wraps up connected vehicle road safety pilot

The Queensland government said during the nine-month pilot drivers were alerted about on-road hazards, including red lights, pedestrians, and cyclists.

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Image: Queensland government

A pilot involved with testing technology that alerted drivers about upcoming on-road hazards, including red lights, pedestrians, and bike riders in Queensland's Ipswich has now wrapped up after nine months.

As part of the Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot (ICVP), 350 participants had their cars retrofitted with cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) technology, including an antenna mounted on a roof-rack, in-vehicle communications box placed under the driver's seat, and a display on the dashboard that signalled safety warnings to the driver.

The equipment enabled each vehicle's position, speed, and other data, to be shared, while it also received data from traffic signals and traffic management systems related to traffic lights, speed limits, road works, and road hazards.

The pilot covered 300 square kilometres within the Ipswich local government area, and included 30 traffic signals fitted with roadside communication devices. These devices, plus those that were installed in participant vehicles, had access to cloud-based data sharing systems throughout the pilot area.

The ICVP was delivered by Queensland's Department of Transport and Main Roads, in partnership with Motor Accident Insurance Commission of Queensland, Telstra, Queensland University of Technology's Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland, iMOVE Australia, Ipswich City Council, and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development.

"The connected technology tested allows vehicles to talk with other vehicles, roadside infrastructure, and transport management systems," Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said.

"Messages received are combined with the vehicle's data and used to generate driver warnings such as red lights, road works, road hazards, congestion, and pedestrians."

The pilot was launched under the Queensland government's broader Cooperative and Automated Vehicle Initiative (CAVI) that aims to reduce serious road injuries and death tolls to zero.

Other initiatives being delivered under CAVI include a pilot that involves testing a small number of vehicles with cooperative and automated technologies, and a project looking at how new technology applications can benefit vulnerable road user safety including pedestrians, motorcycle riders, and bicycle riders.

The state government expects the QUT to deliver a final pilot safety evaluation report about the trial in early 2022.

The Queensland government had signalled plans to conduct trials using intelligent vehicles back in 2016.

Other trials are being carried out across the country to improve overall road safety include one that was announced earlier this week by the Transport for NSW. It said was using AI to develop predictive algorithms to help national, state, local governments manage their road safety performance.  

Up until now, assessing the standards of roads have relied on collecting video survey footage and manual recording methods. But the initiative aims to develop a faster and more automated method to extract raw road data.

Meanwhile, a six-month trial that used lidar sensors at a busy intersection in Victoria showed the technology has the potential to warn road users in real time about upcoming hazards.

The AU$2 million trial, carried out by the Victorian government, involved the installation of lidar sensors at an intersection in Yarraville, which monitored the movement of road users including pedestrians, cyclists, cars, and trucks to identity potential hazards. The sensors were able to detect potential hazards within 0.2 seconds, the state government said.

The trial also investigated ways how lidar sensors could be provide hazard warnings to connected vehicles.

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