Donnellan seeks tech initiatives for trucking efficiency and safety

Victorian roads minister seeks innovative proposals for funding business case

Donnellan seeks tech initiatives for trucking efficiency and safety
Luke Donnellan wants to boost freight efficiency.


Victoria will seek technological help to increase freight efficiency in the state.

In his first move on state-wide truck policy, new roads minister Luke Donnellan calls on the heavy vehicle, freight and intelligent transport systems (ITS) industries to provide "innovative approaches" to using ITS and associated technology to improve road freight productivity and safety.

Once in, VicRoads and Transport Certification Australia (TCA) will then assess proposals against "strategic and technical principles" and implement trials over the next 12 months.

 "We’re working with businesses, using their knowledge and their ideas to make our freight industry safer and more efficient," Donnellan says.

"If a trial of a technology proves successful, VicRoads can build a business case for securing Victorian Government funding to further develop and implement that technology across the road transport sector."

Included in government thinking are such developments as technologies that can improve traffic signals for heavy vehicles, advise drivers of rest area locations so they can manage fatigue, alert them of low clearance routes or other restricted routes or link them with the rail network to help avoid delays around rail crossings.

"VicRoads and Transport Certification Australia are asking the heavy vehicle, freight and ITS industries to come forward with innovative proposals to trial ITS and technologies that can make the freight and logistics sector safer and more reliable," VicRoads director of road operations Dean Zabrieszach says.

Interested parties are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the Industry Framework document for trialling road freight Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and associated technologies and submit their proposal before April 8.

"With many parts of the road transport industry already considered to be early adopters of innovative technologies, this initiative opens the door for ground-breaking approaches to the deployment of technologies which can improve the efficiency, reliability and safety of road freight transport," TCA CEO Chris Koniditsiotis says.

"Moreover, this initiative presents an opportunity to demonstrate the deployment of Cooperative ITS [C-ITS] technologies – commonly referred to as vehicle-to-vehicle [V2V], vehicle-to-infrastructure [V2I) and vehicle-to-centre (V2C] connectivity.

"In simple terms, C-ITS is a convergence of in-vehicle systems and road-side systems – which not only represents the next major step forward in transport – but promises significant safety gains for road users, and over time, the potential to change the way road networks are used and managed."

The government announcement states that the initiative is part of "the Victorian Freight and Logistics Plan which aims to develop freight technology demonstration projects that improve the way we manage Victoria’s roads and improve transport and logistics routes".

ATN is awaiting clarification on what the plan, which has the same name as the previous government’s 2013 effort, entails.

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