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Victoria to trial connected vehicle tech for road safety

The state of Victoria will soon begin trials on cutting-edge connected and automated vehicle technology as the Victorian Government works to make the roads safer into the future.

According to a recent press release, Minister for Roads Jaala Pulford announced on-road testing will get underway in an Australian-first trial of connected vehicle technology.

What is the trial about?

The trial will be using advanced technology to connect vehicles directly.

It will also utilise optimised 4G mobile networks to connect vehicles to one another and to traffic management centres with cloud servers using “Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X)” technology.

Cellular V2X is a new technology with a customised version of 4G for connected vehicles rather than mobile phones.

The trial on this cutting-edge technology is being done to make the roads safer for the future.

The project is researching cars fitted with this technology under controlled conditions and is testing several road safety features including Red-light Violator Warnings and Pedestrian Alert Right-Turn Assist.

Trials for the testing of concept technology on controlled tracks started in late 2018 while on-road testing will soon begin on metropolitan and regional roads.

This will help shape how the technology could be fitted to vehicles in the future. This technology will be critical in making roads safer not only in Victoria but across Australia.

State Government funding

The State Government is funding the project with AU$ 3.5 million grant from their Connected and Automated Vehicle Trial Grants Program.

The grant program is managed by VicRoads and funded by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) through the Towards Zero Action Plan.

This supports a range of initiatives to benefit road safety on roads across Victoria.

The VicRoads Chief Executive explained that connected and automated vehicles will play a huge part in reducing lives lost and serious injuries on the roads.

The TAC Director Road Safety added that technology already plays a pivotal role in road safety and that is only going to increase over time.

This is why it is important to continue exploring the lifesaving potential of connected and automated vehicle technologies.

Sensor-triggered speed signs

In other news, the installation of a new technology that will make it easier and safer for drivers to turn onto the Glenelg Highway at a high-risk intersection near Dunkeld is now complete.

The new electronic Side Road Activate Speed signs are now in place on the Glenelg Highway where it intersects Dunkeld-Cavendish Road and Penshurst-Dunkeld Road thanks to the State Government.

The speed signs are triggered by sensors that detect cars approaching on the side road, temporarily reducing the speed on the highway by 30km/h – from 100km/h to 70km/h – until the car is able to turn.

The reduced speed limit will only stay active until there are no more vehicles waiting to turn onto the highway.

Keeping drivers safe

This improves safety by giving drivers waiting on side roads more opportunity to enter the highway safely, while also giving drivers on the highway more time to react if the side traffic fails to give way.

It also significantly reduces the severity of crashes if they do occur.

70% of fatal intersection crashes in regional Victoria happened on high-speed roads in the past five years.

The use of Side Road Activated Speed technology at intersections in New Zealand has shown to reduce serious and fatal crashes by 89%.

The upgrade is part of the AU$ 1.4 billion Towards Zero Action Plan and is being delivered in partnership between the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and VicRoads.

The Towards Zero Action Plan aims to reduce the number of lives lost on Victorian roads to 200 or fewer and decrease serious injuries by 15 per cent by 2020.

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