Smart cars and connected roads are now being trialed in Australia

Picture: franckreporter, iStock.

Commentators have talked about the likely development of “smart cars”.

This could be vehicles with improved technology to avoid accidents and traffic congestion or even completely autonomous vehicles that need no human intervention.

At the same time, the Internet of Things is allowing the incorporation of sensors and communications into roads – allowing them to communicate with traffic.

The introduction of these technologies can bring benefits across many industries.

Companies involved in logistics could benefit from less congestion and quicker delivery times.

Safety will be improved and fewer accidents should benefit companies whose workers spend time on the road.

The IMove co-operative research centre is going to conduct a trial in Ipswich Queensland in co-operation with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.

The trial will involve vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) applications, with around 500 public and fleet vehicles retro-fitted with the technologies, and roadside devices installed on arterial and motorways. These devices enable vehicles to “talk” to vehicles, infrastructure, road operations systems and cloud-based data sharing systems.

The technologies in the trial include:

  • Stopped or slow vehicle warnings, which alerts drivers of an impending rear-end collision with another cooperative vehicle ahead of them;
  • Turning warning for vulnerable road users (V2I), which alerts drivers to pedestrians or bicycles crossing at an upcoming intersection;
  • In-vehicle speed warning (V2I), which provides drivers with information about active, static or variable speed limits and alerts them if they are exceeding the speed limit; and
  • Road hazard warning (V2I), which alerts drivers to upcoming hazards, such as water on the road, road closures, or a crash.

The idea of smart roads and connected cars is not science fiction but rather a concept that is likely to become common in the near-term.

Infrastructure planners are already incorporating the ability to communicate into new roads. Cars are being built with more and more connectivity. Businesses need to be aware of the many uses of the internet of things and its potential impact on new and existing markets and business processes.

Interested in reading more about the impact of “smart” vehicles? The BI Research Connected World Report is coming soon.

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