Connected vehicle technology to keep traffic flowing

Trucks will soon be able to ‘talk’ to traffic lights as part of the New South Wales Government Innovation Initiative trial to tackle congestion.

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey, announced on 2 June that the trial to tackle congestion by using connected technology to reduce the number of times trucks stop at traffic lights has begun.

Pavey said while there is no magic bullet when it comes to solving road congestion, these types of initiatives go a long way to ease congestion.

“Heavy vehicles take a long time to stop and start, which can cause delays for all road users,” said Pavey. “This trial will detect a heavy vehicle approaching traffic lights and provide more green time, which will hopefully show us how we can ease delays for all motorists.”

The trial reportedly involves the application of the Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System (SCATS), providing participating freight vehicles (more than 100 heavy vehicles) priority at traffic lights. Run over three months, the results will be evaluated to determine congestion effects.

Pavey hopes to expand the use of this kind of technology to emergency vehicles as well as buses, which could improve daily commutes.

“The opportunities are vast, with Sydney’s freight set to double over the next 40 years and increase by 25 per cent in regional New South Wales, we have to look outside the box,” she said.

Last month, the New South Wales Government called for national support to take further steps to improve heavy vehicle safety.

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