Three areas of collaboration focus
Despite the continuing influence of the pandemic, we are continuing our work to improve transport in Australia. From the standpoint of being halfway through the iMOVE CRC’s 10-year term, I’d like to shine a light on three areas in which I see strong opportunities for collaboration and focus.
Benefitting from connectivity
One of our long-running projects recently concluded, the Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot. In it, public participants undertook 2.7 million kilometres of connected driving, resulting in more than 49,000 driving hours, and 95,000 messages provided via the in-vehicle system.
This impressive collection of numbers, and many more, are in the project’s final report, as is a list of the benefits of the technology. But here’s the big message:
C-ITS has the potential to reduce crashes by up to 20% when adopted by all vehicles on Queensland’s road network.
That figure alone presents a compelling case for further exploitation of this technology. We anticipate that C-ITS is now the best option we have to improve the safety of our road network and eliminate accidents and deaths.
We are extremely keen to assist any state and local governments, or other interested organisations to progress along this path.
Hume Hydrogen highway
Over the last couple of months there have been a few announcements on the development of hydrogen highways, most recently a memorandum of understanding between NSW and Victoria. It’s an offer of $20M grant funding towards the establishment of 4 hydrogen refuelling stations on the Hume highway and the acquisition of 25 hydrogen-powered trucks.
Initiatives like this that are an important step toward the decarbonisation of transport on Australia’s journey to net zero by 2050. And we know that to get to net zero we need significant engagement with the long-haul transport task. The attendance at our recent Hydrogen in transport: Progress and next steps webinar suggests that many other people share this aspiration.
Dealing with the return of road congestion
The final of my three areas of collaboration is a good news/bad news story. The good news is that in the stage of the pandemic we now find ourselves, we are all getting out of the house a little more. The bad news is that we are all getting out of the house a little more … and getting into our cars and onto the roads.
Yes, we find ourselves in the situation in some locations where traffic congestion now exceeds pre-pandemic levels. In a large part this is due to persisting reluctance to use public transport.
Building more roads and wider roads is not a realistic option. So the pressure then is on network managers and the community to:
- Better understand the travel needs of the community
- Extract greater performance and capacity from the network
- Improve the efficiency at intersections though smarter technology
- Help the community to understand when and where the worst congestion occurs
- Encourage travellers to vary their schedules so they don’t have to travel at peak hour
- Encourage people to walk, cycle and work from home instead of using their cars
We’re already running numerous projects to assist in these areas, and many more. And we’ve the scope and the drive to take on more.
Let’s talk future transport
There is a lot to do, iMOVE’s has only 5 years left in which we can assist you. We need to accelerate our efforts. If you have initiatives you want to take, or if you want to engage in iMOVE’s work in transport R&D, I invite you to to get in touch with me for a chat.
One last thing. Speaking of events, we’re pleased to be making a return to hosting events with iMOVE Conference 2022: Collaborating towards our sustainable transport future in November, in Sydney. On that, we have a Save the Date article up, and we’ll have more details about it for you all very soon.