Grants, trials and partnerships

We’re looking to partner with industry and other transport technology companies to undertake grants, trials and partnerships.

These are designed to facilitate and improve our understanding of new and emerging technologies and their use on the road network.

Grants are provided to successful applicants to undertake trials in new or emerging technologies available in the market place that may help to improve the management of the road network. They are not provided for Proof of Concept trials.

From time to time we’ll advertise the availability of a Grant Program and ask suitable applicants to apply. There are no grants currently open.

Past grants 

In March 2016, we advertised the Intelligent Transport Systems Grants Program as part of the Victorian Government's $13.3 million Smarter Journeys Program. 

The government is working with transport technology and industry partners to undertake congestion-busting trials. 

The Intelligent Transport Systems Grant Program will see industry leaders working with transport bodies to improve traffic management and flow on Victoria’s roads.

The three successful projects that were selected aim to give drivers more control over their journey by reducing congestion, improving integration between different forms of transport and providing information so people can make alternative transport choices.  

Details of these projects are provided below.

ARRB, Connect East and La Trobe University 

Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) in partnership with Connect East and La Trobe University are preparing Victoria for the future of automated vehicles by enabling roadside infrastructure such as traffic lights and electronic speed signs to communicate with vehicles. 

ARBB, Yarra Trams and La Trobe University 

ARRB in partnership with Yarra Trams and La Trobe University will trial a signalling system to give trams priority at intersections with traffic lights.

Intelematics

Intelematics will use technology to allow vehicles to pass through consecutive waves of green lights and send messages about the state of the traffic via GPS and smart phone applications to enable road users to make smarter decisions about their journey.

Trials are conducted in collaboration with manufacturers or suppliers of transport technologies as a way of finding a solution to an existing problem on the road network.  

We usually share the funding of a trial with the manufacturer/supplier. Below are some examples of exciting trials that are currently being conducted.

Advanced Connected Vehicles Victoria (ACV2) Trial 

The ACV2 trial is being led by Telstra and Lexus Australia with funding from the Towards Zero CAV Trial Grant program. The trial will investigate the potential road safety benefits of “Cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X)” technology. 

The trial will allow cars to connect directly to each other and, through cloud servers, to traffic management centres and other services. The vehicles will use the 4G network to communicate with the cloud, and a new cellular technology for direct vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communications. The direct V2V communication enables the transmission of urgent safety messages without relying on network coverage. The trial, which commenced in 2018, is scheduled for completion by 2020. Two Lexus vehicles will be used for the trial, with on-road testing to begin in mid-2019.

In addition to helping us understand the potential road safety benefits, the trial will also provide learnings around the use of C-V2X to enable Co-operative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) without the installation of roadside infrastructure by VicRoads. C-ITS has the potential to improve the safety and efficiency of the network, and reduce congestion and vehicle emissions.

See the media release: Leading The Way In Connected And Automated Vehicles

Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Highway Pilot (HWP) trial on Victorian rural roads

The CAV HWP trial is being led by Bosch Australia with funding from the Towards Zero CAV Trial Grant Program. Building on previous work by Bosch and the TAC in developing a highly automated driving (HAD) prototype system, this trial will expand the operational domain to Victorian rural roads. 

Bosch will develop its system to handle unique aspects of the Victorian road environment including road conditions, such as topography and roadside flora (and fauna!), and infrastructure treatments such as safety barriers, lane markings and road signs. 

The conditions existing on our roads need to be considered in the development of CAVs for the Australian market and this project will enable VicRoads to understand the challenges associated with the operation of automated vehicles specifically on Victorian rural roads. 

Insights generated from the Bosch trial will form a body of knowledge to inform road infrastructure planning decisions going forward that will enable the introduction of these potentially life-saving technologies as soon as they are commercially available. Bosch has also been awarded the first Automated Driving System (ADS) permit for the purpose of conducting this trial. The ADS permit scheme became operational in 2018 and is managed by VicRoads’ Vehicle and Motorcycling Policy team.  The Bosch project commenced in 2018 with the project scheduled to conclude in 2020. See the media release here. 

Omni-Aware trial of automated vehicle perception equipped intersection

A consortium called Omni-Aware is trialling connected and automated vehicle (CAV) perception technology installed at an intersection to prevent crashes on our roads.  Using funding from the Towards Zero Connected and Automated Vehicle Trial Grant Program, Omni-Aware will install cameras and light detection and ranging sensors (LIDARs) at one crash hotspot intersection to detect all road users, including vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, building a complete picture of the intersection and road user movements and conflicts. 

The system has the potential to be used in real time to predict, and help to prevent, crashes by linking with connected and automated vehicles, for example, when vehicles are too close and there is the risk of a crash. Data collected will also provide backbox functionality allowing VicRoads to closely analyse factors that contributed to accidents and see how these incidents could be prevented in the future.

This project will assess the extent to which deploying automated vehicle technology on road will allow more road users to benefit from the technology sooner. Preliminary trials of the technology will take place in controlled conditions from early 2019 before it is rolled out for an extended on-road trial in 2020.

See the VicRoad’s announcement here.

These trials are funded by the TAC and VicRoads and managed by VicRoads’ Vehicle and Motorcycling Policy team as a part of the Victorian Government’s Towards Zero Road Safety Strategy. 

For any enquiries, please contact [email protected]

 


Bus trials 

A new bus priority system will be tested on Route 201 (Box Hill to Deakin) using GPS tracking and virtual bus detection. The virtual bus detectors can be located anywhere on the network and are not physically fixed. 

Testing of the new bus priority system will be conducted when the Pinch-Point project at Whitehorse Road and Station Street is completed. The Pinch-Point project includes the installation of a right turn phase from Whitehorse Rd (west) into Station St (south), to assist buses entering Box Hill Interchange.


Autonobus

VicRoads' $13.3 million Smart Journeys Program is supporting initiatives to help reduce congestion across Victoria's road network, trialling new and emerging technologies and looking at ways we can improve traveller information.

Over the last two years there has been a huge amount of activity taking place under this program, including the installation of CCTV cameras and Variable Message Signs to help improve real-time congestion management and better manage road works to seeking community feedback preferred modes of transport on particular routes. 

The Autonomous Vehicle Shuttle (Autonobus) Trial – is Victoria’s first autonomous shuttle, operating at LaTrobe University, Bundoora. The trial is a collaboration between VicRoads, Keolis Downer, LaTrobe University, HMI, RACV and ARRB and is designed to demonstrate the Autonobus (driverless bus) as part of first and last mile transportation service and integration with existing mobility services around the LaTrobe University campus. 

Read more about the trial


Low bridge protection 

Several key structures across our network are being repeatedly struck by errant over height vehicles.

Current protection measures such as detection and signing points aren’t being observed, so new and innovative measures are needed to raise driver awareness. 

Radio break-in (analogue and digital), blue toothalerts, GPS navigation alerts, water curtains and large screen technologies are being considered.

The trial also included a review of common devices and technologies on the market that may form part of the solution.

We partner with manufacturers or suppliers of transport technologies to help support research or trials.

We provide support in the form of:
  • access to technical expertise and staff
  • road network management
  • legislative expertise
  • technical/criteria expertise
  • safety and behavioural expertise
Like trials and grants, partnerships help us, the manufacturers and suppliers gain a better understanding of how new and emerging technologies can improve our road network.

Transurban 

Over the next two years we’ll be testing a range of connected and automated vehicle technologies along the Monash/CityLink/Tullamarine corridor in partnership with Transurban. 

The aim is to understand how our road infrastructure and other vehicles can interact with connected and automated vehicles under a variety of different conditions. 

The first phase in early 2017 will involve testing vehicles with a driver monitoring the traffic environment who will be able to take control at any time.

iMove CRC 

We’ve been invited to contribute to a federal government program, known as iMove Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), to fund research and projects related to intelligent transport systems and mobility/movement. 

The iMove CRC is a proposal to set up a collaborative research program across government, industry and academia. 

Focus areas include: 

  • Building an intelligent transport system with a focus on the systems level (encompassing all modes, and both passengers and freight).
  • Creating new end-to-end freight solutions through better visibility, traceability and intermodal co-ordination.
  • Enhancing personal mobility and people’s travel experience
The Federal Government will contribute the equivalent amount of funds raised by the participating organisations (approximately 50 from across Australia, representing government, industry and academia). 

The iMove CRC is a multidisciplinary and collaborative research and development centre that will combine forward-thinking industry partners with Australia’s best innovators to address our need for world-class transport systems through the use of technology.

Bosch 

Bosch Highly Automated

We’ve partnered with Bosch and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) to build a research and development vehicle with highly automated driving capabilities (level 4).

The TAC has funded the development of the vehicle, which has been designed to navigate roads with or without driver input and includes technology to detect and avoid hazards such as pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles.

The vehicle features:
  • Highly automated mode on motorways including high resolution network maps and overtaking of other vehicles
  • Advanced human machine interface to enable hand-over of control between the driver and the vehicle
  • Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), forward facing radar and cameras, rearward radar and satellite positioning for future development of highly automated driving on other parts of the road network.

VicRoads will use the vehicle to better understand Victoria’s transition to highly automated vehicles, including:

  • Assessment of Victoria’s infrastructure suitability for highly automated driving
  • Evaluation of driver responses to highly automated vehicles
  • Performance evaluations of highly automated driving

Read the media release - Victoria leads the way with self driving vehicles (External link)

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