In today’s rapidly evolving smart technology world, it is amazing that so many traffic lights are still so dumb. Now, a project in Melbourne, Australia is building a world-leading traffic management system using the latest technology to reduce traffic jams and improve road safety.
The ‘Intelligent Corridor’ will be deployed along Nicholson Street, Carlton – one of Melbourne’s busiest roads. It will be launched by the University of Melbourne, Austrian technology firm Kapsch TrafficCom and the Victorian Department of Transport. Covering a 2.5 kilometer stretch of Nicholson Street between Alexandra and Victoria Parades, the pioneering traffic management system will use sensors, cloud-based AI, machine learning algorithms, predictive models, and real time-data capture to improve traffic management – easing congestion, improving road safety for cars, pedestrians and cyclists, and reducing emissions from clogged traffic.
The project draws live and historical data feeds from different types of traffic sensors that will fine-tune the Intelligent Corridor over the next three years. The sensors will connect and monitor all parts of the transport environment. Some of these data feeds are already available city-wide; others were pre-installed in the wider Carlton area as part of a separate AIMES (Australian Integrated Multimodal EcoSystem) project. The AIMES project itself is described as the world’s first and largest ecosystem for testing emerging connected transport technologies at a large scale in complex urban environments.
The Intelligent Corridor marks a significant new phase, providing a new level of monitoring, with sensors on every intersection that will create the world’s smartest traffic management system. The technology lays the groundwork for a sustainable and congestion-free future, utilizing the very best in multi-modal demand management technologies such as the Kapsch TrafficCom’s corridor management platform EcoTrafiX.
The world’s smartest traffic management system will integrate within the Kapsch Smart Intersection, the nearby Toyota/Lexus Australia/Kapsch C-ITS Connected Vehicle Zone, and various existing sensors to provide better traffic detection and more robust data collection to improve operators’ Situational Awareness’ to make more informed decisions into the transport network. The aim is to reduce congestion by changing driver behavior and increase the safety of vulnerable road users along Nicholson Street, Carlton.
Director of Signal Services with the Victorian Department of Transport Niloo Karimi said the Intelligent Corridor was an important and exciting step for Melbourne. “The City has faced an increasing volume of road users over the past few decades, leading to delays and an increasing number of accidents. Now, academic researchers, industry, and the government will draw on connected transport technology to explore better outcomes and solve issues of safety and congestion to create a safer, cleaner, and smarter transport future for Melbourne,” Ms. Karimi said.