ITS Australia and The University of Melbourne are partnering with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, IAG, Intelematics, and Transmax on this iMOVE project supported by the Commonwealth Government to investigate connectivity enhancing safety and network efficiency.
There are currently few vehicles in Australia that are optimized for connectivity or equipped with Co-operative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS). The potential safety benefits from new connected vehicles are unlikely to be realised in the immediate future in Australia due to the age of our fleet and the limited connectivity of new vehicles.
Vehicles arriving with C-ITS technology are likely to land in Australia with a mix of connective technologies, calling for a new set of interoperability standards to guarantee the intended communication and cooperation.
Australasia’s authority on vehicle safety, ANCAP undertook a recent analysis of the Australian registered light vehicle fleet revealing:
- older vehicles are over-represented in fatal vehicle crashes, and
- the average age of a vehicle involved in a fatal crash is increasing
Connected vehicles can improve safety and network efficiency outcomes. In urban environments increased connectivity of vehicles could enable improved network productivity (Talebpour & Mahmassani, 2016a) and offer safety benefits for all road users. In rural and regional contexts, safety and productivity improvements could result in social equity and accessibility benefits.
There is a mix of technology and levels of connectivity required and a range of use cases to consider for optimal outcomes. An evidence base is needed to better understand the options that can offer the most effective safety and efficiency benefits on Australia roads.
There is potential to increase the number of compatible connected vehicles in Australia over the next decade through the fitting of after-market devices and/or increasing the demand of consumers for connectivity to be enabled in new vehicles arriving in Australia. ANCAP Safety modelling on road death projection estimated that with an increasing population and no changes to current road death rates over the next five years, around 6,000 lives will be lost on Australia’s roads.
AAA research found that in 2018–19, congestion costs are expected to exceed $23 billion, which will be more than the value of all road-related expenditure. Congestion costs are projected to reach between $30.6 and $41.2 billion by 2030 (Australian Automobile Association, 2019).
Safety and congestion are two of the key challenges on our networks and there is strong potential for connectivity and C-ITS to improve these vital problems.
- Desktop study to understand existing national and international applications and penetrations and outcomes - Environmental scan to study the current and projected percentage of connected and C-ITS vehicles
- The trade-offs between safety and productivity will be studied
- Analysis of data from C-ITS and Automated Vehicles deployments and trials – including CITI, CAVI and AIMES
- Identify range of devices and technologies that enable connectivity and their applications and efficacy.
- Use cases identified based on data analysis and literature review including stakeholder interviews nationally and internationally that indicated optimal outcomes for safety and efficiency.
Challenges and opportunities:
- Users will need to see benefits of communication on top of sensor-only ADAS in order to adopt it;
- Cybersecurity: Privacy concerns related to connectivity;
Deployment and penetration:
- Infrastructure costs might be a significant barrier;
- “Chicken-and-Egg” situation: who will invest first? OEM’s & users or infrastructure providers?
- Benefits will be seen only after certain uptake;
- Fleet age and fuel quality as additional barriers to new technology reaching Australia’s roads;
Aftermarket vs. OEM
- Fleet age and renewal rate indicate need for aftermarket solutions;
- Challenges in retrofitting: integration into vehicle’s computer, proprietary technology & liability.
- Trust and loss of skill;
- Human machine interaction;
Standards, regulation, and stakeholders:
- Interoperability of technology provided by different companies;
- Need for standardised actions and regulations across regions;
- Opportunity for new operation standards and policy;
Trade-offs between road safety and productivity:
- Improvements in safety should improve productivity;
- Lack of data and understanding to infer impact magnitude or negative effects of productivity on safety.