Transport Certification Australia launches telematics-based road use charging system for trucks


Transport Certification Australia (TCA), the national government administrator of the telematics and related intelligent technologies, has announced that it has worked with Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA) to implement a new road charging system.

The TCA says the new system represents a further application of the National Telematics Framework, and as such, it makes use of the investments made by both governments and industry in the telematics space. Representing a first for Australia, the new application makes use of certified telematics to monitor heavy vehicle road usage, so that road and transport agencies can determine road use for charging purposes. The application gives national and state governments reliable data on how heavy vehicles use the transport network and its key assets. The information is also collected, handled and presented in a manner that manages the integrity and availability of road use data, while managing privacy, which are essential ingredients for road charging purposes.

This new system joins applications already available through the National Telematics Framework. The application is currently being used by MRWA to trial improved road access into the Kwinana Industrial Area to optimize safety, efficiency and productivity gains for the transport industry. With the availability of 120ft-long (36.5m) road train access, participating transport operators contribute to the cost of maintenance on the roads.

The vehicles are remotely monitored using in-vehicle technology via the Intelligent Access Program (IAP). This will enable Main Roads to monitor the number of truck movements and ensure that travel is only conducted on the approved route. The National Telematics Framework delivers the ability to co-locate commercial and regulatory applications in a single Telematics in-vehicle unit (IVU). As an international standard, the Framework is considered world’s best practice approach to the sustainable use of telematics.

“This application is the first of its kind in Australia to enable accuracy and reliability in apportioning road contribution costs, while improving asset management and maintenance outcomes,” explained Chris Koniditsiotis (right), TCA’s chief executive officer.

“The development of the application, driven by progress in MRWA, is another example of how telematics can be used to provide infrastructure and productivity gains. In short, it means end-users don’t need to install separate, standalone devices to perform individual functions, significantly reducing costs.

“With over 30,000 Telematics IVUs already installed in heavy vehicles which are currently able to meet TCA requirements, or are able to meet them with some amendments, there is a significant proportion of the heavy vehicle task that could ‘switch-on’ this application if required. The ability to leverage investments already made by industry means significantly lower costs to utilize this application and promote improved outcomes.”

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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).