A trial using wireless communications technology to deliver real-time traffic information has been launched by the Ministry of Transport and AraFlow Limited.
The Co-operative Intelligent Transport Systems trial will investigate whether providing accurate real-time information about traffic conditions to participating commercial transport operators improves the productivity of freight movements.
Ministry of Transport Chief Executive Martin Matthews says “We are testing whether this information allows better travel planning decisions, saves money by avoiding congestion and road traffic incidents, and reduces the time required to transport goods”.
Running until April 2014, the trial will involve commercial vehicles travelling on State Highway 2 between Auckland and Tauranga, and along selected alternative routes.
Bluetooth traffic sensors will collect anonymous data on average speeds between fixed points, overall journey times, traffic incidents and congestion. The real-time data collected will be fed back to drivers through dedicated roadside transmitters and in-cab units, and to transport operators through the password protected AraFlow website.
The trial has been designed so that no personal information will be collected or stored by any party.
“This trial is unique in delivering up-to-the-minute data to commercial vehicles, and we are keen to see if this provides advantages over other existing sources of traffic information.
“Reduced transport times would help time-sensitive products be delivered to markets in their best condition, reduce transport costs and fuel use, and boost economic growth”, Mr Matthews said.
At the conclusion of the trial, all equipment will be removed from the State Highway network, and any further development would be on a normal commercial basis.
For more information on the trial, please visit www.transport.govt.nz/ourwork/Pages/intelligenttransportsystems.aspx
The Co-operative Intelligent Transport Systems trial is a partnership between the Ministry of Transport and AraFlow Ltd, using monitoring stations provided by HMI Technologies Ltd. While there are alternative sources of traffic information, this trial will provide information to participating drivers with a new level of accuracy and immediacy.
Co-operative Intelligent Transport Systems use a high speed digital wireless communications protocol, transmitted over short distances, which is ideally suited to communicating with moving vehicles.
The Ministry of Transport’s involvement in the trial reflects its commitment to help maximise economic and social benefits of the transport network. It is yet to be determined what, if any, role government would play in the long term implementation of intelligent transport systems.
AraFlow Ltd is a New Zealand-based company which provides specialist Intelligent Transport Systems consultancy services, including operational network planning, project and procurement management. Their clients include the New Zealand Transport Agency, Auckland Transport and Christchurch City Council.