World-leading connected vehicle trial begins in Ipswich
Last Friday, 7 August, saw the launch of a very public, ambitious, and exciting project, in which up to 500 participants will have their cars fitted with C-ITS technology, allowing those vehicles to communicate with each other, cloud systems, and with road infrastructure.
Named the Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot (ICVP), it’s the public component of iMOVE’s CAVI 500-vehicle C-ITS Field Operational Test project.
ICVP is Australia’s largest trial of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems. It will run for between 9 and 12 months and will involve up to 500 participants equipping vehicles with C-ITS, and 30 traffic signals fitted with roadside communication devices.
This project is led by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (Queensland), with research provided by QUT’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) and is taking place on the roads of Ipswich, Queensland. Other organisations involved in the project, including iMOVE, are Telstra, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (DITRDC), Motor Accident Insurance Commission, and Ipswich City Council (ICC).
Driving their retrofitted vehicles as they normally would, are members of the public who live, work or travel regularly through Ipswich. In addition to these local vehicles, two C-ITS-equipped Lexus RX450h vehicles have been loaned by Toyota Australia, for testing within the ICVP project area.
What technology is in the vehicles?
Participant vehicles will be retrofitted with temporary equipment, including an antenna mounted on a roof-rack, as well as an in-vehicle communications box placed under the driver’s seat and a device on the dashboard which will display safety warnings to the driver. This equipment will allow the vehicle to share its position, speed and other data, as well as receive data from traffic signals and traffic management systems related to traffic lights, speed limits, road works and road hazards. Participant vehicles will not share information with other connected vehicles as part of this trial.
Professor Andry Rakotonirainy, Director of CARRS-Q at QUT said “This novel new technology will help people to drive safely, and ultimately reduce road trauma. Our team has conducted many tests of this new technology to ensure it will not distract drivers, but, through advance warning, it will assist them in adopting safer behaviour when driving.”
The technology aboard the project vehicles will provide drivers with advisory warnings, including when their driving behaviour is not conducive to a safe outcome, such as stopping in time for a red light. It will also aid in avoiding collisions, help drivers be more aware of cyclists and pedestrians, and smooth congestion on busy roads.
Safer roads, less congestion, less pollution
‘Today is an exciting and important day. The trial we are initiating here is the largest trial of connected vehicles in the Southern Hemisphere, and one of the largest rials of its type in the world,’ said Ian Christensen, Managing Director of iMOVE Australia.
‘We believe in this because we believe that in enabling cars to exchange information with each other, and with intersections, will make our roads safer, will make our traffic flow better, and will reduce pollution.
But this can’t happen in isolation. It’s a team effort, and there are a lot of team members. The foundation of that team is the Ipswich community, and I thank you for your enthusiastic involvement. The team also includes a small army of scientists, engineers, technicians, companies, State and Federal governments, and community leaders.
This trial, using 500 participants, their vehicles, smart motorways and 30 specially instrumented Ipswich intersections will keep Australia amongst the leading countries in the world in the application of new technology to make our roads safer. We are determined to reduce the number of accidents in both our cities and our rural areas.’
How locals can participate
Recruitment for participants is open now. Find out more about the trial, how to apply, eligibility, and more visit QUT’s Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot website.