Trial for drivers to ‘see’ around corners

Transport for NSW has signed up Toll Holdings as the first transport company to take part in Australia’s largest and longest trial of technology that ­allows drivers to “see’’ around corners and over the crest of hills.

Three other transport operators were also close to signing off on participation in the five-year project. By the end of February, there would be 60 to 65 trucks equipped to participate in the trial on a 42km route from the Hume Highway in southwestern Sydney to Port Kembla.

“We are working with the major car carriers and we are also working with companies that transport coal from the coal mines down to the port for export,’’ NSW Centre for Road Safety’s John Wall said.

The Toll Holdings agreement was for some vehicles that operate out of the Port Kembla steelworks and carry steel to western Sydney.

The project, which uses Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) technology, is aimed at reducing truck accidents and improving traffic flow on a busy highway near Wollongong.

The Co-operative Intelligent Transport Initiative (CITI) trial will involve trucks transmitting and receiving warnings about road hazards up to 10 times a second. Trucks drivers will be warned of critical road safety issues up to 1km ahead. Adelaide-based company Cohda Wireless has provided its anti-collision devices for the CITI trial. A dedicated 5.9 GHz frequency will be used to transmit data such as vehicle position, direction and speed between Cohda-equipped vehicles and roadside infrastructure.

“Those systems will speak to the traffic signals and provide ­information back to the vehicles,’’ said Mr Wall, who is the centre’s road safety technology manager.

“We will be able to give vehicles advance notice that the light is turning red and, hopefully, stop any crashes at the end of the queue of traffic if, for example, the driver was a bit distracted for some reason.’’

The CITI trial has received first stage funding of $1.4 million from the federal government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program, the NSW government and National ICT Australia.

Story: The