Perth’s smart transport technology roadmap
Project partners: RAC WA, University of Western Australia, Planning and Transport Research Centre (PATREC)
Western Australia’s capital city Perth has long faced a host of transport issues related to improving transport network efficiency and reliability, road accidents, limited walkability, and fuel consumption and emissions. Noting that various smart transport technologies have been used to address many transport problems throughout the world the development and implementation of technology-based solutions to enable a smarter transport system are essential to ensure the city’s future prosperity, productivity, and liveability.
About the project
The recently completed iMOVE project A Smart Transport Technology Roadmap for Perth, carried out with RAC and the University of Western Australia’s Planning and Transport Research Centre (PATREC), identified options in the use of technology to address the city’s key transport and mobility challenges.
An evaluation framework was developed to assess the options, which included a multi-criteria analysis validated through stakeholder consultation, and five options were developed.
In working to formalise a roadmap for deployment of the preferred option it became apparent that a major barrier to implementation of any of the identified technologies is a lack of critical intelligent transport systems (ITS) architecture, both within specific agencies and across them.
Within this context the report ultimately identified a roadmap for the preferred option under the caveat that enabling systems architecture will be a crucial first step to deploying technologies of this nature. The report is downloadable below.
The objectives of the project included:
- Understand key mobility challenges and opportunities, as well as community needs, in Perth that smart transport technologies could respond to;
- Identify a broad range of smart transport technologies and explore their ‘Perth potential’;
- Determine feasible options and arrive at a recommended option and pathway to deployment of smart transport technologies in Perth (considering key drivers, barriers, and enablers, as well as opportunities to be created for WA and Australia); and
- Provide a compelling case for increased State and Federal government investment in smart transport technology priorities and support increased community understanding of the benefits to be realised.
The project adopted a two-stage approach:
- Stage 1 –Strategic Analysis – identification of a broad range of individual smart transport technologies available to the market and summarised their potential and likely effectiveness in a Perth context
- Stage 2 Options Identification – identification and evaluation of packages of technology options for deployment in Perth and development of a roadmap for deployment of the preferred option.
Stage 1 involved comprehensive literature and network reviews to identify:
- transport problems and priority locations (including the most congested roads worst-performing public transport corridors, and road sections and intersections with the highest fatality and serious crashes in Perth)
- available technologies able to address these problems in Perth.
This was proceeded by stakeholder interviews and a roundtable to provide further insights into the problems and identified technologies in a Perth context.
As part of Stage 2, a series of technology options was developed taking into consideration practicality, feasibility, and potential impacts on the existing transport network. Each option included the target problem that the option would provide a solution for, a list of technologies included in the option, and the cost, scale, and priority locations of the intervention.
An evaluation framework was then developed to assess each option and further stakeholder consultation occurred to validate the evaluation findings, identify a preferred option, and outline a roadmap for its deployment.
A range of mobility challenges and opportunities were identified during the strategic analysis. Broadly these were captured under five main areas:
- Increasing urban congestion, including private vehicles and freight;
- Changing urban freight needs due to the wide adoption of food delivery services;
- Ongoing downward trend of public patronage;
- Low mode share of active travel and other forms of micromobility; and
- Road safety challenges including speed management, intersection safety, number of vulnerable road users killed or seriously injured, and severity of crashes.
Strategic priority locations were identified, and a range of technologies were examined with a focus on detection technologies and factors impacting their implementation.
Two key local barriers included Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System’s (SCATS) poor integration with new technologies in the current form and constraints of existing implemented technologies on future solutions e.g., impracticality of replacing systems that are still in the infancy of their lifecycle.
Five options to address the identified challenges and opportunities above were identified as follows:
- Option A: Efficiency improvement of traffic on freeways and major arterials
- Option A: Optimisation and efficiency improvement of traffic at intersections
- Option A: Intersection safety improvement
- Option A: Pedestrian and cyclist prioritisation and safety improvement at intersections
- Option A: Pedestrian and cyclist prioritisation and road safety improvement
Option E was preferred and incorporated an enhanced vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist detection system, the Hold The Red system, and the bus, pedestrian, and cyclist priority system. This option was expected to provide benefits to all road users including motorists, public transport users, pedestrians, and cyclists.
A roadmap for deployment of Option E was outlined and would take approximately five years to implement, including two to three years to undertake the first two phases (i.e. data collection and evaluation, and options development and stakeholder consultations) and another two to three years to undertake the last two phases (i.e. business case development and submission, and funding and deployment).
These timeframes were suggested in the stakeholder consultations, although it was noted that there are significant existing constraints with systems architecture.
See the report for further detail on all options.
The project provided a good summary of key challenges facing the Perth transport network and the types of technologies that can be deployed to address them. It verified previous knowledge on priority locations that need addressing and highlighted the strategic priorities of transport agencies.
The evaluation framework developed utilised a multi-criteria analysis based on the well-established Infrastructure Australia assessment framework, and provided a practical example of how this assessment approach can be used to assess new and existing technologies and their effectiveness to address identified transport problems in Perth.
In working to formalise a roadmap for deployment of the preferred option it became apparent that critical work is required to establish enabling systems architecture. The need for standard ITS architecture to be deployed across WA has also been highlighted as an action in Main Roads WA’s Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Master Plan 2022 – 2030.
RAC will continue to advocate for ITS investment both in WA and nationally, including work towards an ITS architecture framework to assist in the deployment of consistent and interoperable technologies that facilitate safe, connected, and sustainable mobility.
Download the report
Download your copy of the final report, A Smart Transport Technology Roadmap for Perth, by clicking the button below.
Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions.DOWNLOAD THE REPORT