The Government of the State of Victoria and ITS Australia are both supporting an ambitious and unique high-technology transport project in Melbourne that is focused on reducing future congestion and improving road safety, as the city’s population approaches 7 million.
Led by the University of Melbourne, the world-first National Connected Multimodal Transport (NCMT) testbed will develop pilot schemes and facilitate collaborations between government, industry and academia. Researchers at the university’s School of Engineering will study connected data from vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and infrastructure in a busy two square mile (five square km) test area bounded by Alexandra Parade, Victoria Street, Hoddle Street and Lygon Street. Thousands of sensors and wireless units fitted to 4.4 miles (7km) of roads, traffic signals and vehicles will generate the connected data, which will provide an unprecedented insight into how to manage emerging smart Australian transport systems and road networks in a more efficient way.
Supported by the state government and ITS Australia, the project includes a variety of public and private sector partners, including Cubic Transportation Systems, with the testbed pilot scheduled to be launched in April. Cubic’s Surface Transport Management Solution forms the core of the NCMT testbed. ITS Australia confirmed its own participation in the project by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Melbourne late last year, and has welcomed the Victorian Government’s commitment to the hi-tech transport project for the city.
ITS Australia’s CEO, Susan Harris, said, “Following the success of the recent ITS World Congress in Melbourne, it is important governments and industry continue to work together to find solutions to complex challenges. We recently hosted more than 11,500 delegates from 73 countries, and the message we heard time and time again was that end users are driving change. Therefore, governments, industry, business and academics need to have more accurate data and research to provide meaningful transport options.
“Australia is a world leader in ITS, and we support initiatives and opportunities to make our cities and communities smarter, safer and more efficient. The testbed, and a recent iMOVE CRC submission to the Federal Government, show just how seriously Australia takes real-time, data-driven research to find the best possible outcomes.”
The state of Victoria’s Minister for Roads and Roads Safety, Luke Donnellan, commented, “We’re embracing advances in technology to ensure Victoria can create the highly-integrated, smart transport network our state can thrive on. We want to provide Victorians with the most efficient, safest transport system possible. We look forward to working closely with the University of Melbourne to ensure Victoria can reap the maximum benefits from this world first project.”
Founding Director of the NCMT testbed, and professor in transport for smart cities at the University of Melbourne, Majid Sarvi, said, “The urban laboratory will be a living experiment of connected vehicles and transport networks, people movements, and city infrastructure. The digital revolution has enabled better connectivity, and by understanding real-world situations and customer needs, we can take a considerable step toward providing better services and focused innovations.”
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