In an initiative aimed at improving traffic flow and reducing heavy vehicle collisions, Transport NSW has announced a trial of a high-tech early warning system for truck drivers. As reported in the Illawarra Mercury, heavy vehicles will be fitted with Co-operative Intelligent Transport Systems (CITS) technology which allows trucks to transmit and receive warnings about possible road hazards and conditions ahead. The technology will allow truck drivers to “see” around corners and over the crest of hills, up to one kilometre ahead.
The first stage of the trial will involve 30 heavy vehicles travelling along a 42-kilometre stretch between Port Kembla and the Picton-Hume Highway interchange, transmitting data such as vehicle position, direction and speed between CITS-equipped trucks and roadside infrastructure. “This route is a major transport link in the Wollongong region and was chosen because of its crash history involving heavy vehicles,” a Transport for NSW spokesman explained.
The same CITS technology is also being trialled by Transport NSW along a 210 km stretch of the Newell Highway for another safety-related purpose. The technology will be utilised to create “Smart Rest Areas”, allowing truckies to easily locate heavy vehicle rest areas, calculate time and distance to reach them, and also check parking availability.
Transport NSW Centre for Road Safety General Manager, Ms Prendergast reported that “The aim of the trial is to improve road safety for heavy vehicle drivers, helping them to better manage fatigue by taking rest opportunities”.