Australia’s Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) industry came together in Melbourne last week (ends Feb 18) to celebrate the nation’s best work in advanced transport technology.
The ITS Australia Awards recognise the outstanding projects and professionals that advanced Australian transport technology throughout 2021. The awards raise awareness across all levels of government and industry about the benefits of ITS technology to Australian people and cities, the economy, environment, and transportation.
“Every year our industry raises the bar, delivering work that propels the Australian transport ecosystem forward,” said Dean Zabrieszach, ITS Australia president.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, Australian transport users are asking new questions about how they travel. This week’s award winners are beginning to offer answers to those questions, delivering new and innovative technologies that increasingly impact and improve the lives of all Australians by enabling more seamless movement through the nation’s transport networks.”
This year’s Connected & Automated Vehicle Award was won by Lexus Australia for its C-ITS research within the Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot. The research examines the capability and benefits of very quick data exchange between vehicles, between vehicles and traffic light equipment and receiving important road network updates.
“This research enabled us to bring together key partners across government and industry to support our ultimate goal of zero casualties from traffic accidents,” said Mario Filipovic, manager, C-ITS, Lexus Australia.
“Through utilising cooperative intelligent transport systems, supported by local engineers and suppliers, we were able to best understand the requirements and readiness of this technology for Australian conditions. We hope that the harmonisation of standards, securing spectrum and greater infrastructure roll out will encourage adoption sooner rather than later.”
The Intelligent Mobility Award went to NTT Data for its Occupancy and Crowd Monitoring Solution, Smart Transit Victoria. The solution gives the Victorian Department of Transport, and its customers, access to a dashboard with real-time data and future predictors of the occupancy levels of every train and platform in the Victorian Metro system. This allows travellers to make more informed decisions to prevent overcrowding, adhere to social distancing guidelines and boost their confidence in utilising the Victorian public transport network.
“NTT DATA is honoured to receive this award on behalf of the broader team,” said Nick Acciarito, director of Channel & Field Operations & SSD, NTT Data.
“Through combining NTT DATA’s deep knowledge of myki; the Department of Transport and Telstra Purple’s insights and customer engagement; and the NTT SMART Management Platform; we collaborated to deliver an innovative outcome on an accelerated timeline to help keep Victorians safe during the pandemic.”
The Smart Transport Infrastructure Award was given to Aimsun for its M4 Smart Motorway Project – Simulation-Based Support for Smart Motorway Infrastructure. This real-time transport management support system fuses live traffic data, analytics and transport modelling. The system guides control room operators to apply the best response plan to proactively minimise congestion using the ITS tools already at their disposal.
“We are pleased to win the award. The team and our partners, Transport for New South Wales and Johnson Controls, has been working hard to deploy the Aimsun Live solution in Australia, specifically to match the client user. The efficiency of Aimsun software, the speed of cloud-based simulation, and excellent real-time data made it possible to deliver the complex modelling required,” said Scott Aitken, Managing Director, Aimsun.
“The Aimsun Live solution formulates two predictions: one through advanced analytics, machine learning and AI, which provides a pattern-matching prediction; we then use that as an input into the simulation model, which provides the most accurate prediction of the future traffic conditions and the alternative response plans.”
The Excellence in Research & Development Award sponsored by iMOVE Australia was won by Robert Bosch (Australia) for its Connected and Automated Vehicle Highway Pilot Trial on Victorian Rural Roads. Bosch partnered with the Victorian Department of Transport and the Transport Accident Commission to develop and trial automated vehicle technology on Victorian rural roads, where you are five times as likely to be killed in a crash than metropolitan Melbourne. The trial identified key areas for system developers, road safety practitioners and road managers, assisting them in enabling Automated Driving on Victorian regional roads sooner to reduce road trauma.
“The CAV Highway Pilot project was the largest trial of automated driving technology in Australia to date,” said Mark Jackman, vice president Bosch Cross-Domain Computing Solutions.
“The project demonstrated the real-world potential to improve road safety on Victoria’s rural roads, and generated insights for further investment and planning to reduce road trauma. Thank you to our project partners DoT and TAC, for their leadership and collaboration essential to this innovative and fast-paced field, and to ITS Australia for recognising the project through this excellence award.”
The Excellence in Transport Data Award was won by the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications for the National Freight Data Hub. This prototype website features interactive insights and uses cutting-edge geospatial visualisation tools for industry and governments to gain a national picture of freight movements. The website contains time-enabled maps and graphs, and is the first publicly-searchable freight data directory for Australia.
“The National Freight Data Hub helps industry by providing open, sharable data on freight. This allows operators, producers, and customers to benefit both in day-to-day operations, end-to-end performance, and from long term network investment decisions based on the insights gained from high-quality freight data”, said Georgia O’Cianain, director, National Freight Data Hub, Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.
“The Award-winning Hub prototype, developed in conjunction with our partner Nova, provides examples of the sort of insights that can be gathered from the top-level exploration of this data. In the future more information is to come on roads, trucking, sea freight, air freight, and rail.”
The Young Professional Award sponsored by Transurban went to George Funnell, systems engineer at SAGE Group. Mr Funnell works on SAGE’s smart school zone crossing project for approximately 600 sites in Tasmania. The project delivers dynamic school zone signage which provides a message to approaching drivers to reduce their speed if they are approaching too quickly when pedestrians are present.
The 2021 recipient of the Max Lay Lifetime Achievement Award is Peter Bentley. Throughout his more than 45-year career, Mr Bentley has meaningfully contributed to the success of a diverse range of companies in the transportation, infrastructure and defence sectors. Peter is a specialist in the management of large operational businesses and has been a long-time leader in Australian road tolling.
Images: ITS Australia, AdobeStock