Arup leads CAV traffic sign recognition trials for Australian and New Zealand agencies


Transport specialists from UK-based engineering consultancy Arup will advise and undertake a study into the implications of in-vehicle traffic sign recognition (TSR) systems for road operators across Australia and New Zealand on behalf of Austroads.

Austroads is the lead organization of the combined Australasian road transport and traffic agencies, providing guidance to all the state authorities in Australia and New Zealand. The organization’s studies and guides inform the design, construction, maintenance and operation of the road network in both Australia and New Zealand, and all road agencies across Australasia have adopted the official Austroads Guides. The new Arup-led study will provide guidance for Australasian road authorities in preparing for the arrival of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs). The study will run until September 2018.

The project combines real-world CAV trials and research of world best practice for TSR technology. Prototype and commercially available vehicles will be tested throughout November 2017 at the AARC test track in Anglesea, as well as in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland.

The trials will feature the involvement of a range of vehicle manufacturers and will help prepare Australian and New Zealand roads for the future of driverless vehicles. The study will also involve extensive consultation with state-based Australian and New Zealand road agencies, members of Austroads’ Traffic Management Working Group, relevant Australian Standards committees for traffic signs, signage and vehicle manufacturers, and camera technology specialists.

Currently leading the consortium that is conducting the UK’s largest ever trials of CAVs on public roads, Arup brings local and international experience to the study. Working in partnership with Safe Systems Solutions and the Monash University Institute of Transport Studies, the project aims to identify current issues, provide recommendations, and develop an information and engagement program with, and for, key stakeholders when considering how traffic sign design should respond to current and future TSR technologies. Another collaborator on the project team is road operator Transurban, which is currently running a two-year CAV trials program with VicRoads, the outcomes of which will inform and complement the Austroads TSR study. Arup has provided project management, planning and operational readiness advice to Transurban and VicRoads on these trials.

“This key study will provide Austroads and relevant road agencies with a deeper understanding of the implications of traffic sign recognition (TSR) technology,” explained Arup’s Mark Rowland. “It will set a path forward for road operators, transport authorities, and key stakeholders, helping prepare our road networks for the introduction of more efficient mobility options in the future.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).