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.

Trials are undertaken in collaboration with industry to test potential solutions to road safety and other road network problems. Grants are occasionally awarded to eligible recipients to undertake such trials.

Partnerships are where we join forces with organisations and provide support to achieve a common goal. The type of support will vary depending on the nature of the project. 

Click below for further information about each of the different arrangements.

 

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.

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.

If you’d like to be kept updated about any grant opportunities when they arise or have any questions, please contact us at [email protected]

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 through a combination of Government and in-kind contributions from the trial partner. Below are some examples of exciting trials that are currently being conducted. 

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.

Find out more about how we are working to integrate and prioritise sustainable transport modes here.

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 tooth alerts, 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 involved testing vehicles with a driver monitoring the traffic environment who will be able to take control at any time. Click here to visit the Transurban website where you can find out more about the trial and read the phase one trial report.

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 combines forward-thinking industry partners with Australia’s best innovators to address our need for world-class transport systems through the use of technology.

Visit the iMove Australia website to find out more about how this research can improve road transport.

Advanced Connected Vehicles Victoria (ACV2) Trial 

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

The trial allowed two Lexus cars to connect directly to each other and, through cloud servers, to traffic management centres and other services. The vehicles used 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 ran from 2018 to 2020. 

In addition to helping us understand the potential road safety benefits, the trial also provided 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 was 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 expanded the operational domain of its HAD system to Victorian rural roads. 

Bosch has developed 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 the outcomes of this project enable VicRoads to better 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 conducted a trial of connected and automated vehicle (CAV) perception technology installed at an intersection to better understand the potential of this technology to help prevent crashes on our roads.  Using funding from the Towards Zero Connected and Automated Vehicle Trial Grant Program, Omni-Aware installed 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. 

This comprehensive set of data was collected over a six month period from December 2019 to May 2020, providing backbox functionality allowing VicRoads to closely analyse factors that contributed to any crashes or near misses and see how these incidents could be prevented in the future.

This ‘proof of concept’ system  also investigated the potential for this technology 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. 

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. 

See the VicRoad’s announcement here.

These trials under the Towards Zero CAV Trial Grants Program were funded by the TAC and VicRoads and managed by VicRoads’ Safer Vehicles and Future Vehicle Technology team as a part of the Victorian Government’s Towards Zero Road Safety Strategy. 

For any enquiries, please contact [email protected]

ITS Grants Program

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

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

The ITS Grants Program saw industry leaders work with transport bodies to improve traffic management and flow on Victoria’s roads, trialling new and emerging technologies and looking at ways we can improve traveller information. CCTV cameras and Variable Message Signs were also installed to help improve real-time congestion management and better manage road works to seeking community feedback preferred modes of transport on particular routes.

The three successful projects that were selected aimed 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 trialled 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.

Bosch Highly Automated

We’ve partnered with Bosch and the 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

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