Government Insight: VicRoads on Intelligent Transport Systems

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Today Nick Fisher, Director Road Operations, VicRoads, responds to our questions on the drivers for adopting intelligent transport systems and how the technology sector can help ease congestion on Victoria’s roads.

This follows our post on the Victorian Government’s Intelligent Transport Grants Program, aimed at driving technology-based innovation and collaboration for the development of Melbourne’s road network (closes Friday 15 April).

VicRoads Nick Fisher

What are the some of the main challenges with Victoria’s road network?

The major challenge confronting Victoria’s road network is the growth in traffic flow exceeding the capacity of the road network. This issue will continue with Victoria’s projected increased in population.

Infrastructure Australia has projected by 2031:

  • Melbourne’s population will increase by 45%. There will be significant population growth in the western area of Melbourne.
  • Car travel is expected to increase by 20% on most congested corridors and travel times will double.
  • Melbourne’s demand for public transport is expected to rise 121%.
  • Freight movement is projected to increase by 165%.

What are some examples of how technology has addressed road capacity issues to date?

The implementation of managed motorways, such as the Monash Managed Motorway, incorporating the use of freeway data stations, ramp metering, lane use management, CCTV, electronic variable message signs, freeway management system have resulted in:

  • 19% increase in road capacity
  • 20% improvement in travel time
  • 12% reduction road crashes
  • 33% improvement on speed/travel

What are some of the opportunities available through collaboration with the technology sector?

Collaboration with the technology sector will:

  • Improve the transport information integration and accessibility for decision making on mode of travel and time
  • Improve road capacity through autonomous and connected vehicles providing more efficient use of road space
  • Reduce road crashes, and
  • Improve travel times and traffic flow through traffic signal prioritisation for public transport and freight.

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