Queensland Motorways (QML) is working to develop “a motorway that thinks” — a new system capable of providing motorists with access to information such as projected travel times to help them make more informed travel decisions.
Such system could enable motorways to track traffic patterns based on real time traffic conditions, delivering targeted and flexible traffic management strategies and a more efficient transportation network.
The infrastructure and transport technology company has rolled out the foundation of its intelligent motorway vision with the completion of its Free Flow Tolling Project.
IBM designed and built a central tolling system as part of the 18-month project. Roadside infrastructure provider, Thales, delivered an overall electronic tolling platform capable of supporting free-flow tolling and the replacement of toll booths on motorways around Brisbane.
There were more than 74.8 million tolled trips on the company’s road network, which includes Gateway Motorway, Gateway Extension Motorway and Logan Motorway, in the 2008/09 financial year.
The integrated tolling solution links roadside sensor and imaging technology to transaction, billing and marketing systems, and according to the chief executive officer of Queensland Motorways, Phil Mumford, creates a platform for smarter traffic programs.
“The new seven kilometre section of motorway north of the Gateway Bridge currently features a range of ITS [intelligent transport systems] technologies including variable message signs, closed circuit TV, electronic speed signs and vehicle detector loops,” he said.
“These capabilities allow Queensland Motorways’ Traffic Management Centre to collect data to assess traffic conditions, manage congestion, advise motorists of travel times and alert them to roadworks and incidents on the motorway.”
Queensland Motorways will further integrate ITS as the next sections of road on the Gateway Upgrade Project are progressively opened, Mumford said.
Intelligent transport solutions lead at IBM ANZ, John Hawkins, said transport and congestion were growing issues for major cities.
“Smart transport infrastructure is vital to support economic growth and quality of life, as well as reducing the impact on the environment,” he said in a statement. “The solution IBM developed for QML highlights how advances in technology can address these issues, and help to create a more sustainable future.”