Trucks to trigger extended time on green lights

Trucks King_Georges_Road_Roselands_opt
Stuck behind a truck? It could be good.

Trucks will get extra time to cross at traffic lights at more than 100 Sydney intersections in a new trial announced by NSW Roads Minister and former truckie Duncan Gay.

The Minister said the trial would cut how many times trucks needed to stop and improve traffic flow for all road users using technology that allowed trucks to “talk” to road infrastructure.

“Heavy vehicles take a long time to stop and start which can cause delays for all road users,” Mr Gay said.

“This trial will detect a heavy vehicle approaching traffic lights and provide more green time, which will hopefully show us how we can ease delays for all motorists across the whole network in the future.”

The trial uses Cooperative Intelligent Transport System (CITS) technology, which enables vehicles to communicate with other vehicles, road infrastructure and traffic signals.

This technology is sometimes called vehicle-to-vehicle communications, or vehicle-to-infrastructure communications and uses dedicated short-range wireless systems.

Transport NSW describes it working like this: “They share information, such as vehicle position, direction and speed, with other connected vehicles at a rate of 10 times per second.

“Based on this information, drivers in connected vehicles receive safety alerts about potential dangers. Drivers over the crests of hills or around bends can be warned of risks on the road ahead.”

The government will partner with Australian tech company Codha Wireless and involve around 110 trucks initially.

There is also discussion around whether the technology could be expanded to include emergency vehicle and buses.

Under the trial, the smart infrastructure will be installed on major freight corridors including sections of Pennant Hills Road, Parramatta Road and King Georges Road.

“The results of this project will inform the way we look at incorporating connected vehicle technology on other vehicles and is a key step towards making Sydney infrastructure-ready for connected and automated vehicles in the future,” Mr Gay said.

“Congestion costs Sydney about $5 billion each year. With congestion increasing we are looking at all of our options and putting in place immediate measures to tackle congestion while work on major road projects such as WestConnex and NorthConnex continues.”

The trail will be monitored by the Transport Management Centre and traffic light systems can override the wireless technology, if necessary.

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