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Trucks will communicate with traffic lights to reduce congestion

Trucks take a long time to slow down and accelerate away from traffic lights and this causes congestion, particularly at the margins of the city centre, as fewer other vehicles are able to pass through the intersection. In order to keep heavy vehicles flowing more smoothly a trial in Sydney in partnership with Australian tech company Codha Wireless will see around 110 trucks using Cooperative Intelligent Transport System technology, allowing the trucks to talk to the road infrastructure.

Traffic queuing at the corner of Parramatta Rd and Broughton St, Burwood

Traffic queuing at the corner of Parramatta Rd and Broughton St, Burwood

As part of the trial, the smart infrastructure will be installed on over 100 intersections across Sydney in key freight corridors including sections of Pennant Hills Road, Parramatta Road and King Georges Road. It works by detecting a heavy vehicle approaching the intersection. The green phase is held slightly longer in order to let extra vehicles through.

While this is just a trial with trucks there are other applications such as enabling emergency vehicles to have a quicker run through the lights.

“The results of this project will inform the way we look at incorporating connected vehicle technology on other vehicles and is a key step towards making Sydney infrastructure-ready for connected and automated vehicles in the future,” Minister for Roads, Duncan Gay, said.

“Congestion costs Sydney about $5 billion each year. With congestion increasing we are looking at all of our options and putting in place immediate measures to tackle congestion while work on major road projects such as WestConnex and NorthConnex continues.”

This is a step towards road infrastructure working with autonomous vehicles to calculate all vehicles’ routes and optimise travel times across a broad network of roads.

Darren is an expert on driving and transport, and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

Posted in Heavy Vehicle