Lexus Australia to conduct two-year cooperative-ITS trial in Queensland

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Lexus Australia has become the first vehicle brand to partner with the Queensland government in a trial of advanced cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) technologies designed to improve road safety and reduce congestion, fuel consumption and emissions.

Two specially equipped Lexus RX 450h F Sport SUVs will be fitted with sensitive equipment that will enable them to communicate with each other and with roadside infrastructure such as traffic lights, as part of a two-year trial.

The study into C-ITS technologies will involve the two connected Lexus vehicles providing drivers with early warnings, including visual and audible alerts, covering a wide range of road and traffic conditions.

Warnings will include alerting drivers to road hazards or the existence of a crash ahead, as well as information that vulnerable road users such as pedestrians or cyclists are at a connected intersection. Information will be shared between vehicles and infrastructure using dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) technology which transmits safety information using 5.9GHz waveband.

The self-charging hybrid Lexus RX 450h SUVs in the trial are already equipped with several advanced safety features as standard, including a forward collision-warning system with audible and visual alerts, autonomous emergency braking and automated lane-keeping. Additional vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technologies to be added to the vehicles are:

• Emergency electronic brake light – Alerts drivers to a cooperative vehicle that is braking hard some distance ahead;

• Slow/stopped vehicle – Warns the driver when a vehicle ahead is stopped or traveling slower, and there is a risk of rear-end collision;

• Advanced red-light warning – Alerts drivers that they likely to violate the red light unless they apply the brakes;

• Vulnerable road user turn warning – Alerts drivers that a pedestrian or cyclist has pushed a signal call button and are crossing during the permitted phase;

• Road hazard warning – Alerts drivers to hazards, such as debris or water on the road, or a crash;

• Back-of-queue warning – Alerts drivers to a downstream queue on motorways using the Managed Motorways automated back-of-queue algorithm;

• In-vehicle speed warning – Provides drivers with information about active, static or variable speed limits;

• Road works warning – Notifies drivers approaching or driving through roadworks zones, providing speed information and alerting them if they are exceeding roadworks speed limits.

“This cutting-edge C-ITS project will generate valuable data that will eventually benefit all Australians. Our local engineering team, working closely with the Queensland government, will assess the effectiveness of intelligent transport systems while expanding our understanding of driver acceptance of these technologies,” explained Lexus Australia’s chief executive, Scott Thompson.”

Queensland’s Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said, “Working with Lexus Australia will provide the opportunity to demonstrate to road users the safety-related benefits of cooperative and connected vehicle technologies. These vehicles will be capable of recording data and visual information for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of the trial, understanding user acceptance of the technology, and identifying problems.

“Lexus Australia will be utilizing the Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot testbed and the Mount Cotton Driver Training Center for the tests which will occur over 2019 and 2020.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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