RouteTIP_Christchurch_smlIn New Zealand, 50 rental cars travelling between Christchurch and Queenstown have been equipped with innovative Human Machine Interface (HMI) which alerts about road safety and road conditions received from roadside beacons. The three month trial uses a system developed  in New Zealand by Auckland based HMI Technologies and is an opportunity to test the system and gather feedback from a diverse range of drivers.

The technology trial was announced last week by New Zealand’s Transport Minister Simon Bridges and is installed on the popular driving route between Christchurch and Queenstown in New Zealand’s South Island. The system is called RouteTIP and is an innovative I2V (infrastructure to vehicle) technology developed by Intelligent Transport technology specialists HMI Technologies.

The RouteTIP system is designed to be cost effective, simple to install and capable of conveying hundreds of simple messages to keep drivers informed and improve road safety. In this trial 60 key locations have been selected, and beacons at each location are capable of communicating to traffic approaching in either direction.

The concise audio messages conveyed by RouteTIP include journey time information, alerts about road conditions and also reminders to take driver rest breaks. The route where the trial takes place involves high mountain passes and stretches of rural roads which will prove the system’s ability to work in remote and challenging conditions.

For HMI Technologies the trial is an opportunity to further test the technology which they have been developing for the past two years and which they are currently seeking patents for. CEO Ahmed Hikmet explains, “This is an exciting time for me and my team, for although the RouteTIP system has already been tested in closed trials in urban environments in Christchurch and more recently in Melbourne, this is the first time we will be receiving direct feedback from the public.”

“This RouteTIP trial will run for three months, and by partnering with New Zealand rental car company GO Rentals, the trial will involve both New Zealanders and international drivers who may be unfamiliar with New Zealand roads and driving conditions.”

Craig Foss, Associate Transport Minister explains “While the trial does not specifically target visiting drivers the Visiting Driver Signature Project led by the NZTA will assess whether this could be included in their suite of safety measures.” A number of high profile accidents involving tourist drivers has created a hot topic for New Zealanders who are keen to see solutions which keeps both visitors and New Zealanders safer.

Dean Zabrieszach, CEO of HMI Technologies’ in Australia, explains that the trial is expected to attract international interest in the new technology, “We’re not aware of anyone trialling this technology anywhere else, it integrates with existing technologies, future proofing them, which is attractive to transport agencies across the world. The public trial is a great achievement, and it’s pleasing that it has happened in New Zealand where RouteTIP is being developed.”

“The global ITS industry which is experiencing rapid growth and is expected to be a US 50 billion dollar industry within the decade, so innovation is crucial as we plan for the future of mobility which will see vehicle to vehicle and infrastructure to vehicle communications. We’re looking forward to showcasing it at the ITS World Congress in Melbourne in October. ”

Following the trial the RouteTIP system could be rolled out on other routes throughout New Zealand. HMI Technologies is also progressing development of the system to include multiple languages and integration with the latest vehicle infotainment systems such as Google’s Android Auto.

Original Source: Sharp Angles