Science and Technology

Connected Vehicle Pilot: Safety and user perceptions evaluation

Connected Vehicle Pilot
Source: Department of Transport and Main Roads (Queensland)

The C-ITS Field Operational Test project recently began recruiting for up to 500 participants from the public in Ipswich. This new project, commonly called the Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot, complements the work being done, and will build a standardised analysis methodology and evaluate the safety benefits of C-ITS. The findings will guide transport agencies in regard to investment in infrastructure to support C-ITS.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is conducting an on-road field operational test (FOT) of a number of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) safety applications. C-ITS technologies will be retrofitted to up to 500 public participants’ vehicles, and road infrastructure, as part of the Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot.

International pilots have demonstrated positive cost-benefit ratios for the technology, however policymakers continue to call for FOTs in support of the investment logic toward deployment. The challenge for FOTs is to involve sufficient participation for evaluation of benefits.

Queensland’s pilot – currently the largest planned in Australia – will provide a core data set to build a standardised analysis methodology and evaluate safety benefits of C-ITS. The evaluation findings will be used by transport agencies (local, state and federal) to inform the investment of infrastructure both digital and physical that supports the emerging C-ITS need.

Participants

Project background

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (Queensland) (TMR) is conducting an on-road field operational test (FOT) of a number of C-ITS safety applications, covering vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) use cases. These include:

  • Advanced Red-Light Warning (ARLW) – This warning alerts drivers there is a risk of driving through a red light ahead.
  • Turning warning Vulnerable Road Users – (TWVR) – This warning alerts drivers to pedestrians or bicycle riders potentially crossing at the signalised intersection.
  • Road Hazard Warning (RHW) – This warning alerts drivers that there is a risk they are travelling at an unsafe speed for a hazard up ahead, such as water on the road, road closures or a crash.
  • Back-Of-Queue (BoQ) – This warning alerts drivers there is a risk they are travelling at an unsafe speed for upcoming traffic queue.
  • In-Vehicle Speed (IVS) – This display provides drivers with information about the current speed limit.
  • Road Works Warning (RWW) – This warning alerts drivers there is a risk they are travelling at an unsafe speed for upcoming road works, giving them time to slow down or change lanes. It also alerts drivers if they exceed the speed limit within the road works.

C-ITS technologies will be retro-fitted to up to 500 public participants’ vehicles, and arterial and motorway infrastructure, in and around the City of Ipswich. The C-ITS Pilot will adopt European C-ITS Standards in line with the national direction led by Austroads. A standards-based approach enables interoperability between suppliers’ products and therefore maximises societal benefits.

The C-ITS Pilot is intended to:

  • contribute towards governments’ vision of zero road deaths and serious injuries on the nation’s roads
  • prepare for and accelerate the emergence of cooperative technologies onto Australian roads
  • respond to the national call for priority trials and research of transformative transport technologies, including C-ITS.

In 2016, the European C-ITS Platform report estimated a cost benefit ratio of 3.2 based on a number of safety, emissions and mobility use-cases. This report drew upon the results of a number of European naturalistic field operational tests. Despite efforts to-date, the report calls for continued FOTs in support of the investment logic toward deployment.

As part of the business case for the C-ITS Pilot, TMR undertook a Rapid Cost Benefit Analysis of C-ITS in Southeast Queensland (SEQ) which indicated the benefit-cost ratio of a moderate penetration of C-ITS over a 30-year period as 3.4. The analysis of ten C-ITS applications resulted in a cumulative crash reduction of 20% and a 3% fuel and emissions savings under 100% penetration of C-ITS devices in new cars. This analysis was largely based on benefits evaluation of international C-ITS pilots which was applied to SEQ crash and vehicle fleet data – as there are no results from Australia studies.

A challenge in FOT is the number of drivers needed to meaningfully analyse the impacts of C-ITS. In an effort to better estimate the societal benefits, a Platform sourced study – DriveC2X – pooled the data from seven European countries. This required a coordinated effort to design the study and evaluate across jurisdictions.

Within Australia there are a number of C-ITS demonstrations and larger pilot projects underway, but to date there has been no effort to develop a standardised methodology or a national evaluation project. Like the European approach, a pooled effort would better support Australia’s understanding of the investment logic. Queensland’s pilot – currently the largest planned – could serve as a core data set to build a methodology and evaluate the benefits.

The Queensland pilot will include up to 500 participants, which is comparable to the maximum participant pool for the DriveC2X study. Hence, the purpose of this iMOVE project is to evaluate the core set of data collected during the FOT (the FOT and management of public participants is covered in Project 1-002: Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) Pilot – Field Operational Test (FOT) and Evaluation).

The evaluation findings will be used by transport agencies – local, state and federal – to inform the investment of infrastructure both digital and physical that supports the emerging C-ITS need. In the future, this data and results could also be used by others to perform, compare or supplement the evaluation.

The broader C-ITS Pilot, including delivery of the C-ITS system, will be delivered by TMR with the support of a multidisciplinary team comprising internal subject matter experts and external providers of C-ITS/ ITS planning and deployment services. There is a substantial investment by TMR outside of iMOVE.

See the full list of iMOVE projects here

Project objectives

The objectives of the earlier CAVI C-ITS Pilot Field Operational Test were as follows:

  1. Validate the impacts and benefits, and user perceptions
  2. Demonstrate technologies and build public awareness and uptake
  3. Grow government’s technical and organisational readiness
  4. Encourage partnerships and build capability in private and public sectors

Of those objectives, this new iMOVE project is directly responsible for delivering Objective 1. It will also contribute to achievement of the remaining three C-ITS Pilot objectives.

The specific objectives for the Evaluation project as part of the C-ITS Pilot are to deliver a C-ITS safety and user perceptions evaluation that:

  • provides empirical evidence to inform government’s investment rationale for C-ITS
  • aligns with international methodologies, and can be replicated in future C-ITS pilots
  • delivers to time, budget and scope, in collaboration with the C-ITS Pilot team including other suppliers/contractors

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