Safe driving tech being tested on Queensland roads

Posted: 30 August 2018 2:32 am
Inter communicating cars

Pedestrian safety at the heart of new in-car early warning detection trial.

Drivers could soon receive early warnings about pedestrians crossing the road ahead, traffic jams and even roadworks, thanks to work by research fellows from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

Researchers from the Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot plan will take 500 vehicles and retrofit them with technology developed by the Cooperative Intelligent Transport System (C-ITS). The multi-agency backed study will commence in 2019.

The video below explains briefly how a car kitted out with C-ITS hardware and software communicates with roadside furniture.

Everything works in real time and relays warnings to the driver through a screen on the dashboard. Possible uses include sending motorists messages about slow-moving vehicles, bicycle riders and pedestrians crossing the road as well as traffic queues and even emergency electronic brake light warnings.

How does this system differ from other autonomous vehicle systems?

Put simply, the technology supplements a driver with additional safety information. It isn’t an autonomous system as such.

“The driver remains in control of the vehicle at all times, and manually responds to the safety messages. The way the vehicle responds to the safety message is in no way automated,” said QUT research fellow Dr Mohammed Elhenawy.

As of now, the pilot study is looking to understand the effectiveness of sending drivers safety notifications. Analysts also want to fine-tune the wireless based technology, including the timing of messages. Vehicles will also log data about the road surface and traffic flow.

Professor Andry Rakotonirainy, one of the study’s experts, said the ultimate goal is to make sure road users change course when necessary to avoid a collision and improve road safety.

“We have an opportunity to consider if the system operates in the way it is intended and if it results in the desired behaviour from drivers and improves driver safety," Rakotonirainy added.

Volunteers sought for pioneering program

If you want to assist with the study and help shape the future of transport, you can fill out QUT’s cooperative in-vehicle transport technologies survey. You must be over 18 and hold a valid Australian driving licence. Respondents will need to answer basic questions such as how willing they are to adopt new automotive technology.

Technology can help you save money on car insurance

Until fully autonomous, connected vehicles roll out across the nation, you could look at a black box car insurance policy. By fitting a small telematics device, that monitors how you drive and at what times, insurers may be able to reward careful motorists. A telematics box insurance policy can favour drivers under 25 or P-platers.

Car insurers may also offer discounts for owners of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) equipped cars. In some cases, the discount could be as much as 15%.

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Picture: Shutterstock

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