Australia’s largest connected vehicle trial begins

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The Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot (ICVP) has begun in earnest with up to 500 vehicles in the south east Queensland town of Ipswich (pop. 200,000) being fitted with Cohda’s MK5H On-board units allowing them to communicate with each other and with roadside infrastructure.

The ICVP is Australia’s largest connected intelligent transport vehicle trial by far and the Adelaide-headquartered global leader believes it will pave the way for other large trials across its home nation as well as internationally.

Cohda Wireless CEO Dr Paul Gray says that V2X technology is expected to revolutionise the road transport systems and that city and state transport authorities are at various stages of readiness. “Large trials such as the ICVP make other road transport authorities sit up and take notice and we certainly encourage decision-makers across Australia and the world to consider their progress so that they don’t get left behind.”

Other participants in the delivery of the ICVP include the Motor Accident Insurance Commission, Telstra, QUT’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland, iMOVE Australia, Ipswich City Council and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

Dr Gray cited the comprehensive and multifaceted nature of the ICVP trial as model for others to follow. “Besides the scale of the trial, there is versatility of the technology involved in that it encompasses both Cellular and DSRC V2X technology as well Real Time Kinematic (RTK) vehicle positioning,” he explains. “The trial is also fully compliant from a cyber security perspective with data managed in the cloud in accordance with the relevant safety standards.”

Ipswich, Queensland

The Ipswich Connected Vehicle Project is also expected to showcase the interoperability of the various technologies that will contribute to the cooperative intelligent transport system of the not-too-distant future.

“Cohda’s V2X technology will work in symphony with independent roadside infrastructure technology as well as the human-machine interfaces that have been fitted to vehicles to supply warnings to drivers,” says Gray. “In summary, ICVP is a model C-ITS deployment delivering on safety applications which encompasses Vehicle-2-Vehicle and Vehicle-2-Infrastructure interoperability. The trial is very comprehensive from a technical perspective, reflecting the most contemporary approach possible, including cellular, HMI, cyber security, RTK location enhancement with data management in the cloud, explained Dr. Gray.

Cohda Wireless’s technology is used in more than 60% of vehicle trials across the globe including the 3000+ vehicle New York Connected Vehicle Project.

Project leaders, the Department of Transport and Main Roads (Queensland), were delighted with the community response to the call for volunteers to participate in the trial, with hundreds of south east Queenslanders jumping at the chance to register their interest and help shape the way transport technologies of the future are used throughout the State. The technology fitted to vehicles includes a small dash-mounted screen, an external antenna and Cohda’s On-board unit.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the large-scale, on-road research study would put emerging connected vehicle technologies to the test. “In Queensland between 1 January and 15 September 2020, there were 183 fatalities as a result of crashes, which is 30 greater than for the same period in 2019 and fifteen greater than the previous five-year average. Pilot programmes like the ICVP are crucial to explore the safety benefits of emerging vehicle technologies and work to help reduce lives lost on our roads,”says Bailey.

Mr Bailey said the installed technology does not make changes to the vehicle’s operation, but rather “connects” the vehicle to real-time information. The Pilot will test if this information assists drivers to make better decisions, such as stopping in time for an upcoming red light.

“The technology allows participating connected vehicles to “talk” to roadside infrastructure and road operation systems. This provides drivers with safety-related warnings about their local driving environment,” he says. “For example, a driver could be given early advice of upcoming roadworks, or that they are approaching the back of a motorway queue.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early 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).