As motorcyclists, we can wear full gear, don hi-Viz colors, or install “loud pipes”, but our safety is still at the mercy of drivers. Recent technological developments like blind-spot detection certainly help our chances, but fully aware drivers would go a much longer way to improving roadway safety. At least that’s what Australia’s Queensland University of Technology believes it can achieve with the Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot (ICVP).
Along with Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety, the project also benefits from contributions from the Department of Transport and Main Roads, the Motor Accident Insurance Commission of Queensland, Telstra, iMOVE Australia, Ipswich City Council, and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development.
The ICVP program launched on August 7, 2021, with an ambitious goal of outfitting 500 cars with the Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) and 30 traffic signals with roadside communication devices. Cars receive a hood-mounted antenna, a communication box tucked under the driver’s seat, and a dashboard device that displays safety warnings to the operator.
The C-ITS will relay the car’s position and speed to device-equipped traffic signals while traffic management systems alert drivers to traffic lights, speed limits, road works, and hazards. However, cars involved in the 9-12-month study will not communicate with one another. On the same note, drivers will maintain operation at all times, with the ICVP foregoing automated intervention.
“This novel new technology will help people to drive safely, and ultimately reduce road trauma,” explained QUT’s Director of CARRS-Q Andry Rakotonirainy. “Our team has conducted many tests of this new technology to ensure it will not distract drivers, but, through advance warning, it will assist them in adopting safer behavior when driving. It will also aid in avoiding collisions, help drivers be more aware of cyclists and pedestrians, and smooth congestion on busy roads.”
While the initiative is an encouraging step in the right direction, we won’t truly understand ICVP’s efficacy until the analysts crunch the data and present its finding in 2022. Until then, stay safe and aware, whether your vehicle has two or four wheels.