Heavy Vehicle Hackathon gets industry thumbs up

Marmion and Main Roads WA push academic collaboration in innovation

Heavy Vehicle Hackathon gets industry thumbs up
Bill Marmion sees bright young minds getting road transport exposure.


The Western Australia government is bringing the best and brightest academic minds to bear on heavy vehicle productivity – and the effort has Western Australian Road Transport Association (WARTA) in full support

In conjunction with universities and Main Roads Western Australia, the ‘Heavy Vehicle Hackathon’ aims to explore opportunities for delivering innovative, cost effective safety and productivity solutions.

"This is quite genuinely a brilliant initiative by the Minister and Main Roads," WARTA freight and logistics division manager Cam Dumesny tells ATN.

"Not only is it tapping into our brightest young minds it is also giving them a positive exposure to WA road transport industry and some of its issues."

Combining his two ministerial portfolios, transport and innovation minister Bill Marmion believes the exercise, at Curtin University's Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centre, can only be a positive for all sides.

"We want to harness the brightest minds from our WA universities to generate ideas and information to assess the viability of digitising heavy vehicle number plates," Marmion says.

"A digitised 'smart plate' could be made available to heavy vehicle users seeking to increase their vehicle size and/or load capacity to improve efficiency, productivity and profitability.

"Part of the increased profits generated by this initiative could then form a contribution to the continued development, improvement and modification of heavy vehicle routes and services.

"Less heavy vehicle trips delivering the same or greater capacity will not only improve the safety of all road users, but less wear and tear on vehicles and the road network also means reduced maintenance costs."

Four WA universities are taking part in the Hackathon – Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and The University of Western Australia.

The Hackathon aligned with the objectives of the recently released Western Australian Innovation Strategy.

"This is about bringing together different people and talents, and providing opportunities for learning, networking, mentoring and collaboration to foster creativity and innovation," Marmion says.

"This government is committed to creating and developing innovative solutions and services for the heavy vehicle industry."

If a successful 'smart plate' design and functionality is presented at the Hackathon, Main Roads WA will then proceed to a prototype and testing of the design.

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