The Australian division of Norwegian tolling and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) supplier Q-Free will be supplying equipment and services to the country’s first trial of Cooperative ITS (C-ITS) connected vehicle technology at a dangerous intersection in the state of Victoria.
One third of deaths and 44% of serious injuries on Victoria’s roads occur at intersections, so the State Government is funding trials of C-ITS technology at one of Melbourne’s high-crash intersections as part of its long-term preparations for the introduction of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs). C-ITS technology will be fitted at the intersection of Williamstown Road and Somerville Road in the suburb of Yarraville. Specialist light detection and ranging (lidar) sensors will monitor the intersection and analyze all crashes and near misses, and how they may have been caused. The cutting-edge technology will also provide real-time warnings of potential hazards to vehicles fitted with connected technology. This is the first time that lidar technology has been used in this way in Australia and will provide Road Safety Victoria with insights that could help boost safety at busy, complex intersections.
Funded through the Victoria Government’s A$9m (US$6m) Connected and Automated Vehicle Trial Grants Program, the trial is being undertaken by Omni-Aware, a consortium of specialist technology companies including Intelligent Transport Services, Transoptim Consulting, and IBIS Computer. As a leader in connected mobility solutions for smart city infrastructure, Q-Free will provide C-ITS equipment and expertise to the project. Trials conducted earlier this month at an off-road test facility confirmed the combination of the Omni-Aware technology and Q-Free’s interoperable C-ITS solution was able to detect a hazard in the intersection and alert the driver, all within five seconds of the hazard first appearing. Data collected from the on-road tests will be de-identified and used to tune the technology and establish how a wider roll out may work to make intersections safer across the state’s road network.
“Thanks to dedicated employees, a leading-edge portfolio, forward-thinking customers and complementary collaboration partners, we are now part of yet another project of high societal importance,” commented Silje Troseth, general manager at Q-Free Australia. “Knowing that one third of lives lost and 44% of serious injuries occur at intersections, this trial is a great example of how cities and governments make use of our technology to learn about traffic behavior, make better decisions, and solve a pressing issue more efficiently.”
Q-Free’s principle solutions engineer, Chris Myatt, added, “We have for long been at the center of standardizing and validating Cooperative ITS technology on a global scale and we’re very proud to provide our state-of-art technology to this exciting trial.”
Victoria’s Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Jaala Pulford, said, “A third of road fatalities in Victoria happen at intersections; this trial will give us important insights on how to boost safety at intersections and keep more Victorians safe. Victoria has always led the way in connected and automated vehicle technology, and this is another way we’re making our infrastructure and policies support the uptake of this life-saving technology.”